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First Night in Pittsburgh

​There's no better place to celebrate the new year than in downtown Pittsburgh!

Celebrate the start of 2018 in Pittsburgh! With amazing performances,  awe-inspiring fireworks, and rocking music sets, you won't want to miss Pittsburgh's official New Year's Eve party! There's no better place to be than Downtown Pittsburgh to celebrate First Night and enjoy the rest of our holiday events.

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh

December 31, 2017-January 1, 2018

Make plans to ring in 2018 with Pittsburgh's favorite New Year's Eve celebration - Highmark First Night Pittsburgh! This arts-focused production of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust takes place in the city's vibrant Cultural District and features live music, art performances, ice sculptures and a wide array of family-friendly activities. 

This year's theme "Love, Peace, Pittsburgh" celebrates bringing people together. Stay for the weekend and enjoy all of the family-oriented activities including comedy, music, dance, magic and more. You can purchase your Admission Buttons for access to more than 100 events in 30 venues throughout the Cultural District. Some of the most in-demand events also required seat reservations, free with purchase of an admission button.

Watch the skies light up at the Dollar Bank Children's Fireworks. Get your game on at the Penny Arcade, where there's an interactive, kid-friendly improv comedy show offering laughs for all ages. Keep the kids busy with face painting, caricaturists and hands-on crafts at Fifth Avenue Place. See amazing ice creations at Fire & Ice Plaza in the Cultural District.

You can also enjoy free music. Steelpan band Barrels to Beethoven will get you in the groove. Sway to the beat of this year's headliner, Lee Fields & The Expressions, performing soul and funk. Rock out with legendary group Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers at the Benedum Center.

Watch the Allegheny Health Network Parade and see dynamic performance groups, art cars and signature giant puppets from Studio Capezzuti. Be mesmerized by Steel Town Fire, a local fire dance performance group. 

Share some laughs at the New Year's Eve Comedy Showcase at the Byham Theater.  Experience young talent with CLO Ministars at The Cabaret at Theater Square. Have you ever been to a Silent Disco? Check it out at the August Wilson Center, featuring three DJs, wireless headsets and grooves only you can hear.

Join the nearly 50,000 revelers who celebrate First Night together and explore more than 150 events throughout Downtown at the region's largest single-day celebration. The evening culminates in the countdown to midnight when the “Future of Pittsburgh Ball” rises to welcome 2018. As the crowd counts down to midnight, a spectacular Zambelli fireworks finale will captivate your imagination.

Downtown Holiday Happenings

Skate at the MassMutual Ice Rink before heading inside the PPG Wintergarden for the Spirits of Giving From Around the World exhibition - a display of life-sized Santas depicting holiday traditions from across the globe. Also in the Wintergarden, check out the Gingerbread House and Train exhibition. Venture from Market Square across town to the U.S. Steel Tower and visit Pittsburgh's Crèche, the world's only approved replica of the Vatican's Nativity Scene. The BNY Mellon Season of Lights continues nightly through mid-January.

More Holiday Events

Tis the season and Pittsburgh has lots of events to get you in the holiday spirit. Catch dazzling light displays in Pittsburgh! Along with the city's downtown decorations, you can also see some sparkle and shine at Kennywood's Holiday Lights, featuring more than one million lights and a Gingerbread Express ride. For botanic holiday fun, head to Phipps Conservatory's Holiday Flower show and Winter Light Garden. You won't want to miss the Carnegie Science Center's world-renowned Miniature Railroad & Village®, a winter wonderland of 105 animations and one Pittsburgh incline. Visit the Carnegie Museum of Art and see the Hall of Architecture filled with several towering Colorado spruce trees, each adorned with handcrafted ornaments. The trees flank the museum's exquisite 18th-century Neapolitan presepio Nativity scene, rare in US collections, together making up a cherished Pittsburgh tradition. Visit the Nationality Classrooms at the University of Pittsburgh and see the rooms decorated in traditional holiday styles from their country of origin. Experience how the holidays were celebrated at the turn of the century on a Clayton Holiday Tour at The Frick Pittsburgh. Take the kids to see Santa at some of the city’s attractions. The Gateway Clipper offers fun on the water with Santa Fun cruises. Have Breakfast or Lunch with Santa at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium or Brunch with Santa at the National Aviary. Ride the Santa Trolley on weekends at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum

Shop Till You Drop!

Pittsburgh has been named among "the best American towns for holiday shopping" by Expedia.com so come on over! Find unique, handmade gifts for everyone on your list at Arcade: The Cutting Edge of Craft, the largest independent craft fair featuring more than 170 vendors held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Explore the shops at Fifth Avenue Place for specialty items like beautiful Pittsburgh photography, Irish-themed items or high end souvenirs at the Welcome Pittsburgh Information Center and Gift Shop. 

Mighty. Beautiful. Informed.