I had the distinct pleasure Thursday morning to emcee the kick-off press conference for this year’s Light Up Night downtown. This year, the Pittsburgh tradition turns 50 and will, once again, bring thousands downtown to start the holiday season. It really should be called “Light Up Weekend” because its two days of holiday fun and festivities …. and one spectacular night of fireworks.
November 19th and 20th, the city will light up with all the downtown buildings turning on their lights … and it will also play out at two different venues. The Warhol Bridge which will be the site of the stage on Friday night … and the newly renovated Market Square which will host all sorts of activities and musical performances.
This morning’s press event at the Fairmont Hotel, just a block from Market Square, also gave the city first word of a holiday wedding that will take place. A couple from Mount Pleasant plans to get married as part of the festivities and they will be taken to the downtown wedding site via pumpkin-shaped horse-drawn carriage a la “Cinderella”.
Lynn Smith and James ( Fred ) Bell will exchange vows in a winter wedding as part of Light Up Night.
This winter wonderland and festive fantasy does have some real world applications organizers hope will last long beyond the holidays. Pittsburgh businesses and Downtown Partnership want you to experience the city and see what it has to offer. Other than Steeler games, parades and events like this, there are few event that bring masses from outside the city to downtown. Thus, when you have the opportunities, you have to do your best to bring out the city’s best.
I don’t work for the Chamber of Commerce or the Downtown partnership, but I can tell you downtown Pittsburgh has all you could possibly want in a city. Live theatre, restaurants, night life … and a growing downtown residential choices. I have traveled to many cities and I know few that offer all the different aspects of city life so affordably and so close. You can park downtown and walk five blocks in any direction and find a myriad of entertainment, shopping and food options. Its one big reason I have made this my home since 1995.
Don’t take my word for it. Experience the city for yourself … either during Light Up Night weekend or any weekend. I’m sure you will pleasantly surprised.