Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2015: Not to Miss Events and Shows

First Night Pittsburgh 2015
First Night Pittsburgh 2015

If you are lucky to live in or near Pittsburgh, you’re lucky enough to be within driving distance of a top-notch New Year’s Eve celebration- Highmark First Night Pittsburgh! Family-friendly and filled with fun, First Night 2015 offers visitors over 150 events at 50 venues- most of them indoors!. Add dining and additional activities to the mix and you may just be shaking your head as to what to see and do from 6:00pm to midnight. I’ve combed the internet, perused the websites, did the research for you, and have narrowed down the must-see events & activities in The ‘Burgh. Here’s the highlights for this year’s celebration. 

Two Sets of Fireworks

First Night Pittsburgh 2015
Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Pittsburgh has definitely shown just how family-friendly it is by offering First Night guests TWO sets of fireworks this year! Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks Display kicks off the night at 6:00pm at Dollar Bank Stage (Penn & 7th). Fireworks: Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale begins at 11:59pm at the Highmark Stage on Penn Ave. A city favorite and fireworks staple, Zambelli Fireworks will be bringing their booming light to Pittsburgh in the way that only they can.

The Swon Brothers

First Night Pittsburgh 2015 The Swon Brothers
Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Couldn’t make a live performance on “The Voice”? The Swon Brothers will be gracing The Highmark Stage from 10:45pm through the fireworks finale at 12:10am! This one’s certain to be hugely popular, so if you even have the inkling to see the duo live, get to the stage early and grab a spot up front.

FedEx Ground Parade: Imagination Delivered

First Night Pittsburgh 2015 FedEx Ground Parade
Photo Courtesy of  Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
What’s a First Night Celebration without a parade? Pittsburgh seems to think the same as I do, and from 8:00pm- 8:30pm on Penn Ave., Grand Marshal Rick Sebak will lead Imagination: Delivered from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Filled with local dance groups, marching bands, and fun surprises, this year’s parade is sure to be a big hot, so grab a spot along the parade route early.

Arcade Comedy Theater

Arcade Comedy Theater is hosting FOUR shows during First night Pittsburgh, as the fun off-the-cuff comedy show is hugely popular as well. Free vouchers are given out on a first come, first serve basis via the official link and they go fast. Didn’t get yours in time? There is a stand-by line for folks that want to try their luck.
Performances Schedule at the Arcade Comedy Theater on Liberty Ave. for First Night 2015:
  • 6:30pm – 7:15pm
  • 7:45pm – 8:30pm
  • 9:00pm – 9:45pm
  • 10:15pm – 11:00pm

Cello Fury and Texture Contemporary Ballet

Looking for a contemporary way to ring in the new year with new age art and music? Cello Fury and Texture Contemporary Ballet features a trio of cellists, one rock-inspired drummer, and an entire troop of ballet dancers. The melding of classic dance style and instruments gives new life and a rock edge and may just have you signing up for lessons when you leave The Byham Theater on 6th Street. Three shows are scheduled for New Year’s Eve.Show Times:

  • 6:30pm – 7:15pm
  • 8:45pm – 9:30pm
  • 10:15pm – 11:00pm 

Aaron Kleiber & T- Robe

Aaron Kleiber & T- Robe have combined comedic forces to host two shows for First Night Pittsburgh at the O’Reilly Theater on Penn Ave. Both Pittsburgh Natives, Kleiber & T- Robe are sure to delight audiences with their wit and comedic skills.
Show Times:
  • 7:45pm – 8:30pm
  • 10:15pm – 11:00pm

Performances require vouchers that sell-out quickly. If you didn’t order one and would still like to watch one of the shows, there’s a stand-by line you can jump into. 

Unsuk Bellydance Show

Unsuk and her performance troop will be hosting three performances during First Night Pittsburgh CAPA School on 9th Street. Whirling, twirling dancers that really know how to shake it will be on stage during each 20-minute show.
Show Times:
  • 7:45pm – 8:05pm
  • 10:00pm – 10:20pm

The Magic of Matt Sigler

Matt Sigler will be hosting three magic shows at Urban Pathways Charter School for folks that enjoy slight-of-hand performances. Matt combines magic tricks, comedy, illusion, and mind reading into his shows and even lets the audience in on some magical secrets.
Show Times:
  • 6:45pm – 7:30pm
  • 8:30pm – 9:15pm
  • 10:00pm – 10:45pm

The Landscape Architectural Legacy of Dan Kiley

 The Landscape Architectural Legacy of Dan Kiley is presented by 937 Gallery and is featured at 937 Liberty Ave. The retrospective photographic exhibition features 45 stunning images of Kiley’s poignant and current projects, many of which are worldwide. The exhibit is on display from 6:00pm through 11:00pm and is a not-to-miss part of First night for art fans.

Tadashi: Japanese Sword Dance

First Night Pittsburgh 2015 Tadashi
Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Put me in a room with Japanese swords and interpretive dance and I’m a happy camper. Tadashi combines the two art forms to create a thrilling and delightful show that melds traditional Japanese martial arts and american modern dance for two shows during First Night Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh CAPA School on 9th Street.
Show Times:
  • 6:45pm – 7:00pm
  • 9:00pm – 9:15pm 

Pittsburgh Children’s Theater

Pittsburgh Children’s Theater is hosting fun, family-friendly events at its Liberty Ave. location. Kids can make glowing alphabet bracelets and listen to Click Clack Moo! Story readings. A raffle will also be held and includes giveaways for theater tickets and children’s story books.

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is celebrating snowflakes at the First National Bank Family Tent at Penn Ave. & 7th Street. All of the crafting supplies necessary to create colorful snowflakes will be provided, and families can stop by the tent from 6:00pm – 10:00pm.

Pirate Parrot

First Night Pittsburgh 2015 Pirate Parrot
Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Let’s Go Bucs! The Pirate Parrot will be meeting and greeting Pittsburgh Pirate fans from 6:30pm – 7:30pm at the First National Bank Family Tent. Bring your camera because he’ll be taking photos with fans of all ages that will be great for selfies!

Steel Town Fire and Ice Creations

First Night Pittsburgh 2015 fire and ice
Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
A four-hour long production combining ice carving and fire breathing takes place at Fire & Ice Plaza on the corner of Penn Ave. and Sixth Street. Jugglers from Steel Town Fire will be on hand and a synchronized light display will dazzle passersby.
I’ve merely hit the tip of the First Night iceberg in regards to events that will be taking place during First Night Pittsburgh 2015. For more information and the scoop on additional events and activities, please visit the official website, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh has made the conscious effort to keep First Night family-friendly and safe, so no there will be no alcoholic beverages permitted. 
Official First Night buttons may be purchased for $8 in advance or $10 at the door. To purchase in advance, please head to the official website.
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