The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced today that Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022 events will take place in the Cultural District this New Year’s Eve. While last year’s event moved to a completely virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cultural Trust has worked with its partners and city officials to create the safest in-person event possible this year; featuring an expanded outdoor footprint with four outdoor stages and public art installations, visual arts galleries, select indoor performances at Cultural District venues, and annual favorite outdoor activities such as the New Year’s Eve Parade featuring Studio Capezzuti puppets, Fire and Ice Plaza, and the Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network sponsored Family Tent.
As always, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022 presents an arts-focused, family-friendly celebration of the New Year throughout the 14-block radius of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The 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. Throughout the event’s six hours, guests can look forward to all types of art, including comedy, dance, music, magic, theater, visual art, and more, as well as hands-on activities for every age.
“Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Allegheny Health Network are excited to support the safe return of in-person events at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022,” says Dan Onorato, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer at Highmark Health. “While we were proud of last year’s completely virtual First Night event, nothing can replace the joy of coming together to experience the creative art from the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. We need events like Highmark First Night Pittsburgh now more than ever to reinvigorate our downtown businesses and bring our community together in the Cultural District.”
With the expansion of outdoor programs and performances, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022 is free and open to the public. Outdoor stage locations include the Dollar Bank Stage in the Benedum Lot at 7th Street and Penn Avenue, Fire and Ice Plaza at 8th Street and Penn Avenue, Heinz Hall Courtyard Stage at 6th Street and Liberty Avenue, and the Highmark Stage at Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street. Participants no longer need to purchase an Admission Button ahead of time in order to participate.
In addition to dozens of free outdoor events and gallery exhibitions, tickets to select performances at Arcade Comedy Theater, Bricolage, the Harris Theater, and Liberty Magic will be available for purchase. These tickets and the full programming line-up for outdoor stages will be announced in early December.
A returning favorite program hosted by the Cultural Trust at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, the Williams Sing-Off Competition welcomes special guest judge Adam Pascal this year. Each year, dozens of young, aspiring musical artists audition to become a finalist in the Williams Sing-Off Competition. The winner will be given the opportunity to perform live at the Dollar Bank Stage at 7th Street and Penn Avenue on New Year’s Eve, among many other great prizes. Full details are available at TrustArts.org/SingOff and applications are open now through Friday, December 3, 2021.
“The Williams Sing-Off is more than a talent show,” says TJ Rinke, Vice President at Williams. “It’s a wonderful way to support and encourage students in the arts who aspire to help Pittsburgh ring in the New Year with their amazing talent. Williams is pleased to sponsor this Pittsburgh tradition for the 6th year in a row.”
Singers in grades 6-12 whose video-auditions edge out the competition will be named finalists in this year’s Williams Sing-Off Competition and evaluated by Mr. Pascal, who starred as the original Roger Davis in the Off Broadway, Broadway, and London Productions of RENT (Tony Award nomination) and originated the role of Radames in Broadway’s AIDA. Other Broadway credits include the final Emcee in the Roundabout’s Cabaret, Huey Calhoun in Memphis, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Chad in Disaster, William Shakespeare in Something Rotten! and, most recently, Edward Lewis in Broadway’s Pretty Woman, which comes to the Benedum Center as part of the Cultural Trust’s PNC Broadway in Pittsburgh series. Mr. Pascal can be seen onstage in Pittsburgh February 1-6, 2022. He has also visited Pittsburgh many times through his Cabaret performances and in the national tour of Something Rotten!
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).