Your Event Guide to First Night Pittsburgh 2024

Hey, Pittsburgh!! Are you ready to ring in the New Year in style? Highmark’s First Night Pittsburgh has a schedule of events ranging from musical performances, decorative crafts, and lively parties to dazzling fireworks displays. Whether you’re looking to take your family out for a few hours and catch a magic show or head out with friends for a night on the town, there’s an exciting array of events to choose from. Let the countdown to 2024 begin!

Main Attractions

Every year, there are events that return plenty of fun and tradition to the community. For instance, the Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks kick off every First Night Pittsburgh with a bang at 6 p.m. These evening fireworks give the kiddos a chance to experience the midnight celebration early so that they can still get to bed at a reasonable time.

The New Year’s Eve Parade presented by Giant Eagle also returns and brings back the life-size puppets ready to walk the streets of the Cultural District at 8 p.m. Then, you can head one block over to the Clemente Bridge for its reopening and the launch of a new lighting project across the Three Sisters Bridges.

When you’re done exploring all the night has to offer, hurry back to the Highmark Stage for headliner Lyndsey Smith, a New Orleans-based Pittsburgh native known as “The Goddaughter of Soul”. Her soulful voice will take us from 10:45 p.m. straight into The Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale featuring the Future of Pittsburgh Ball and Pyrotecnico Fireworks display.

These are just a few of the plethora of events that First Night Pittsburgh puts on. Needless to say, with the agenda below, you’ll be busy all the way till the ball drops.

Hands-On Activities

Start the night off by checking out the Firetree Project presented by Dollar Bank. This huge steel and copper statue in the shape of a tree looks straight from a fairytale with flames rising from the roots. It’s an interactive art piece, so onlookers can touch the sculpture and activate the bells throughout it.

Then, visit the Moonshot Museum, which will be open throughout the night, for a space exploration adventure. Write a message to the moon, analyze 3D images of the lunar surface, and learn much more about the space industry in Pittsburgh and beyond.

After you’ve gone to infinity and beyond, head over to Highmark Fifth Avenue Place for a craft by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Children & Bridge Theater. Children can make a personalized Rainbow Fish based on the production by the theater to take home with them. Don’t forget to check out the Rainbow Fish Story Set, based on the children’s novel, by Citiparks.

Keep the hands-on fun going with the Laurel Highlands Council and Boy Scouts of America. Also in Highmark Fifth Avenue Place, the two groups will hold a Scout-themed activity for the little ones. In the same spot join Trust Arts Education Center for a Year of the Dragon glasses making activity perfect for all ages.

Don’t leave Highmark Fifth Avenue Place quite yet — there’s still much more to do. Make a decorative necklace or ornament with Pittsburgh Center for Arts & Media that’ll provide any materials you might need. Plus, get a caricature by Pittsburgh artists Sam Thong and Vince Ornato, or get a balloon sculpture by Giggles the Clown to take home.

Beyond Highmark Fifth Avenue Place, Steel City LUG will be at the Byham Theater with a glow zone filled with Legos. Take some time to relax and build a lego creation with Pittsburgh’s Lego User Group. Or, you can stop into the Benedum Center to get your tarot cards read for the New Year by Elizabeth Kivowitz, Crystal Noel Jalil, Dr. Amber Epps, and Pamela.

Art Displays

Artists of Pittsburgh and around the world take to the Cultural District to set up various installations featuring exhibits you can find across different museums.

As you walk through the streets, experience Jenson Leonard’s Workflow exhibition that explores the velocity and momentum of Blackness as it relates to the philosophical concept of acceleration. Or, view Belgrade Raw’s Flashbacks, a photo collection about memory perception, formation, and recall.

Lastly, stop by Death of a Lunar Cult by Zach Brown, a series of paintings that reference the different epochs and shifts from lunar to solar worship throughout history. Check out one or all of these artists to support and learn about different mediums of art.

Live Performances

Looking to take a break from the craziness and view a show? All night long, singers, musicians, magicians, and other performers take to the Highmark Stage and beyond.

Listen to the Sing-Off competition finalists and winner at 6 p.m. to start off the celebration. Then, be amazed by O’Ryan the O’Mazing’s Totally Lit Juggling Show to keep things hot… literally. There’s plenty more excitement just around the corner at the Japanese Sword Dancing show at the Trust Arts Education Center. Dancer and artist Tadashi combines martial arts and modern dance for an entertaining and educational show.

Multiple times throughout the night, check out Street Magic with Mr. Messado and the Harmon Brothers or the Zuzu African Acrobats to get a sneak peak of some of the performers within the city. Alumni Theater Company and South Hills School of Rock are two other local organizations that’ll be putting together shows all evening long.

But, if you’d like more musical acts, you can swing by Dwayne Dolphin’s jazz night at 6:30 p.m. and The Flow Band’s set at 8:30 p.m. for songs you know and love.

Finally, finish off the night with a special up-close magic show from 10 to 11 p.m. by Mr. Messado, leaving enough time to get back for the big finale at midnight.

Story by Kylie Thomas

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