PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST ANNOUNCES
SILVER JUBILEE, 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION LINEUP FOR HIGHMARK FIRST NIGHT PITTSBURGH 2019
Monday, December 31, 2018, 6 p.m.–midnight
Cultural District | Downtown Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH–This morning, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced the complete programming lineup for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019, the 25th “Silver Jubilee” anniversary of Pittsburgh’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Starting at 6 p.m. on December 31, 2018, acclaimed artists from Pittsburgh and beyond will light up the Cultural District and ring in the New Year with live music, dance, theater, comedy, magic, and kids’ activities. Two Zambelli fireworks displays, the signature New Year’s Eve Parade and its famed giant puppets, the “Countdown to Midnight,” and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball complete the celebration.
“For a quarter of a century, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh has brought acclaimed local and national artists together to ring in the New Year,” says Director of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Sarah Aziz. “Every year, we strive to bring culturally-diverse and exciting activities, pieces of art, and performances together in the Cultural District. We are so grateful for our presenting sponsor Highmark Health and its long-standing commitment and support of this event, and also for all of the sponsors, volunteers, participants, and attendees who make this event a success every year. Here’s to the next 25 years!”
The Highmark First Night Pittsburgh New Year’s Eve Parade, themed Black and Gold Turns Silver, celebrates the 25th anniversary and marks puppet-maker, artist, and educator Cheryl Capezzuti’s 20th year of participation. Puppets created at her studio and during community workshops throughout the holiday season will be, as always, a centerpiece for the Parade. She says, “I see the Parade as a people-powered work of art that wouldn’t be complete without art made by the community. I am proud to participate year after year!”
Another new, exciting component of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 is the participation of Pittsburgh native and star of the national tour of Hamilton, Peter Matthew Smith. Before stepping onstage at the Benedum Center as King George on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2019, Peter serves as the Williams SING-OFF Competition guest judge. The winner of the Competition, which is accepting auditions from singers in grades 6 – 12 through December 7, will have the opportunity to perform live at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. In addition to this once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunity, the winner of the competition will also earn a $500 cash prize and a $1,000 donation to his or her school’s music department.
The Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 evening begins with the Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks at 6 p.m. on the Dollar Bank Stage, and culminates in the Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale, which begins at 11:58 p.m.
During the six hours of celebration between 6 p.m. and midnight, you will be sure to encounter fan-favorites like Magician Lee Terbosic, Arcade Comedy Theater, and Staycee Pearl Dance Project. You can also discover a new Highmark First Night addition around every corner of the 14-block Cultural District, including Emerald Owl Productions’ Steel City Let’s Glow Party at EQT Plaza, The Zuzu African Acrobats of America’s Got Talent on the Pittsburgh CAPA School stage, the First Night Jazz Club Presented by BNY Mellon in the Trust Arts Education Center, and many, many more. Reservations for performances can be made at with button purchase.
There are plenty of activities that do not require a reservation all throughout the Cultural District, including Fire and Ice Plaza, Fifth Avenue place face painting and caricatures, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust visual art galleries, and the Family Tent sponsored by Highmark & Allegheny Health Network at the corner of Penn and Seventh.
Before the evening’s finale, Durand Jones and the Indications will take the Highmark Stage to begin the countdown to midnight with dynamic, modern soul music.
These listings are just a sample of the more than 100 events and activities available during the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 celebration. Continue to check back at for the complete schedule of events, and to plan your Cultural District visit on New Year’s Eve.
Admission Buttons are $10 each (children five and under are FREE) and grant access to all attractions in the Cultural District on New Year’s Eve. The First Night Friend VIP experience ($40) is also available, and provides priority access to seating, parking, a private lounge, and more!
Admission Buttons and First Night Friend VIP Packages are now available for sale at , in person at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), or by phone at 412-456-6666.
Additionally, participating Giant Eagle store locations will have Admission Buttons available for sale. If you purchase Admission Buttons at participating Giant Eagle locations, you will be directed to register your button at TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH. Some indoor performances also require free reserved seating, and these are listed at .
Some indoor performances also require free reserved seating, events requiring vouchers are listed at .
Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 sponsors as of December 3, 2018 include Presenting Sponsor Highmark Health, Allegheny Health Network, Dollar Bank, FedEx Ground, Giant Eagle, Williams, PNC, BNY Mellon, and Bobby Rahal Automotive Group. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 community supporters include The Buhl Foundation, The Fine Foundation, and The Grable Foundation. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 media partners include WESA 90.5 FM, WYEP 91.3 FM, and KDKA-TV.
Through a special partnership with the Pittsburgh Port Authority, on December 31st after 4 p.m., all children ages 6-12 accompanied by an adult and wearing a Highmark First Night Pittsburgh button may ride free. Adults continue to pay full fare. Children age 5 and younger always ride free when accompanied by an adult.
Culminating with the city’s ‘Countdown to Midnight’ and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball, this six-hour celebration sprawls downtown’s renowned 14-block Cultural District — inside theaters, galleries, and unique spaces, and along city streets on outdoor performance stages. Acclaimed national artists and Pittsburgh’s vibrant artist community ring in the New Year for revelers with live music, dance, theater, visual arts, comedy, magic, kids’ activities, and a signature parade, along with two Zambelli Fireworks displays at 6 p.m. and midnight. Admission Button prices remain among the most affordable in the nation, at $10 per person (kids five and under are FREE).