Sparkle and Shine in the Square

You better bet we're making a list — or two — and checking everything more than twice to get ready for the 51st annual celebration of Downtown Pittsburgh's Duquesne Light Light Up Night(R) this coming Friday and Saturday. Always the biggest, brightest and most joyous neighborhood party of the year, Light Up Night(R) officially opens the Downtown holiday shopping season with family activities, food, concerts and an awesome big-bang display by Zambelli Fireworks Internationale called The Pittsburgh Brewing Company 150th Anniversary Fireworks Celebration.  It'll fill everyone with the spirit of the season.

And when you're asking everyone in Downtown to keep the lights on for the party, there's no better sponsor than Duquesne Light to trip the lights fantastic for this high-wattage blast that attracts hundreds of thousands people to just about every nook and cranny of the radiant Golden Triangle. Of course, Market Square will once again be party central during Light Up Night(R) with dozens of hot spots to grab a bite to eat or sip a beverage to help you get your glow on as Downtown transforms into the Center of the Season. If you haven't been back in a while, check out this video on some of the new places opened in 2011.

Since last year's two-day festivities left everyone yelling "Encore, encore," Light Up Night(R) 2011 is another doubleheader with a full slate of activities on Friday evening and all day Saturday.
The stars will be out over Pittsburgh this weekend as some of our biggest performers take the stage.  And one of the biggest is the big guy himself — Santa Claus. This year Jolly Old St. Nick will prove that Mr. Claus is quite the song and dance man during the Celebrate Santa! Stage Show in Market Square, starting at 8:30 p.m. on Friday. With a little help from his friends — including Eat'n Park's Smiley cookie mascot — the merriest elf of them all will entertain the crowd before switching on the Eat'n Park Market Square Season of Lights.  This holiday light show has nearly 150,000 LED lights and stars a 33-foot tall, one ton "tree" made of giant spheres that twinkle, blink and flash along with a synchronized soundtrack of beloved holiday songs.

For a different musical interlude, Etta Cox, Joe Negri, Billy Price, No Bad Ju Ju, Johnny Angel and the Halos and other hometown favorites will perform over the two days, on the Clemente Bridge on Friday evening and in the Square both days. And remember to bring your holiday shopping lists because Downtown's department stores, boutiques and restaurants will be open late just for you. So join us this weekend for Light Up Night(R) as we usher in the Spirit of the Season and Downtown's most wonderful time of the year. For a look a back at last year's 50th Golden Anniversary of Light Up Night, click on the video below.

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