Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Youngstown’s Z104 radio station first in nation to go all-Christmas

It’s back! And a month earlier than last year!

Youngstown’s Z104 flipped from oldies music to holiday tunes on Friday.

“If ever ‘we could use a little Christmas, right this very moment’ it is this year. We simply want to lift people’s spirits,” Bill Kelly, Cumulus Youngstown vice president and market manager, said in a statement.

The station flipped last year at the end of October.

The station will return to oldies music after the holiday season.

WPXI’s annual holiday parade canceled amid COVID-19

The hits just keep on coming due to the global pandemic.

We learned that Pittsburgh’s annual holiday season parade is canceled due to COVID-19.

WPXI announced the decision to cancel the parade today.

The parade, which would have celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, was first organized by longtime department store Kaufmann’s and known as the Celebrate the Season parade.

It then was a product of Macy’s before that department store company pulled out of Downtown Pittsburgh.

Since then, WPXI has organized the parade.

WPXI says it is planning to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the parade later this year.

Image by Brenda Geisse from Pixabay

Christmas in July with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on WQED

An elf clued us in to see this special treat!

Celebrate Christmas in July with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in concert on WQED 89.3 FM at 7 p.m. July 24!

The concert is a rebroadcast of holiday concerts from the past few seasons. The program will air music from PSO Holiday Pops concerts and holiday music performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass.

Check out more of their programming.

‘Feel the Love of Christmas’ one final time

Monday night was the first last “Feel the Love of Christmas” concert at Heinz Hall. Tuesday night was the last last “Feel the Love” concert there.

For more than 20 years, B.E. Taylor lit up the holiday season with his recognizable voice, smile and positivity – selling out concerts across the tri-state region.

The beloved Aliquippa native died in August 2016. His son – B.C. Taylor – and other family members and longtime friends have celebrated his life and love of the holiday season with fans for the last three years.

But the show will come to an end Dec. 23 with a final performance where it all began – Wheeling, West Virginia.

I’ve loved B.E. Taylor’s Christmas music for as long as I can recall. I’d watch him sing at the old Horne’s/WPXI sing-along shows and the Kaufmann’s Celebrate the Season parade, as well as his performances on WQED-TV and on 94.5 3WS and Wish 99.7.

The tribute shows have served as a time to celebrate the season and to reflect on a talented man who loved his family, the season and his fans. Portions of a live recording at Heinz Hall were embedded into the show, letting B.E. Taylor’s voice shine for all to hear.

“The fact that people still want to come and celebrate, even with dad begin gone, is such a tribute to what he created and what everyone on stage created and the fact that we get to say goodbye on our terms and let this go and send everybody out feeling the love of Christmas one more time, it’s the way I wanted to do this,” B.C. Taylor told WTOV-TV.

B.C. Taylor said the family decided to end the show’s run because of the emotional toll it takes.

“It weighs on me or my family, and I just feel that it’s time to move on, but I wanted anyone that wanted to come and sing ‘Feel the Love’ or ‘Mary’s Boy Child’ or whatever, see the drumline come down, I wanted them to have the opportunity to do it one more time,” B.C. Taylor said.

When B.E. Taylor released his first Christmas album in 1994, he had already been a solidified musician, reaching No. 6 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1984 with “Vitamin L,” which was written by fellow bandmate and friend Rick Witkowski.

In a 2016 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary story, bandmate Hermie Granati talked about who B.E. Taylor was as a person and not a musician.

“All the superlatives have been said about his musicianship, but the guy that we knew, when he talked to you, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room,” Granati said. “Very at ease and very comfortable being himself. There was a light emanating from Bill, and he pulled everyone into that light. He wore his faith on his sleeve and he lived it.”

At the time of B.E. Taylor’s death, WDVE’s morning show host said he was “the kind of person that you strive to be. He was kind, he was thoughtful, he was happy and full of love for his friends and family. There wasn’t an ounce of pretense to B.E.”

The final performances for the show are Dec. 21 in Indiana and Dec. 23 in Wheeling. For ticket information, visit the concert site.

Kennywood Park Holiday Lights named one of nation’s top theme park holiday events

For the fourth time in as many years, Kennywood Park’s Holiday Lights was named among the nation’s Best Theme Park Holiday Events by USA Today.

Kennywood came in tenth place.

The 10Best.com site says a panel of experts chose the first 20 parks. The final votes came from people like you.

“We want to thank all those who took the time to vote for Holiday Lights,” Kennywood GM Jerome Gibas said in a statement. “Our team members put in many hours to bring Holiday Lights to life, and it’s rewarding to see our efforts recognized.”

Topping the list was An Old Time Christmas at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. Coming in at No. 2 was Smokey Mountain Christmas at Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee), which was recently featured in a Hallmark Channel movie.

Also making the list were Kings Island (No. 3), SeaWorld Orlando (No. 5) and Busch Gardens (Tampa at 6, Williamsburg at 8).

Kennywood offers 2 million lights, photos with Santa, local choir group performances, two synced lights shows at the lagoon and, of course, Potato Patch fries! In addition, Thomas Town and Kiddieland rides are available, plus some other rides (all weather permitting, of course).

I’ve written before about how amazing Kennywood at Christmas is. Words can’t properly describe the feeling of strolling through the park seeing the magic of Christmas at one of the world’s best amusement parks.

So, go to Kennywood before it closes for the season!

It is held Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights through Dec. 22 and is open nightly from Dec. 26-30.

As of this posting, admission – if purchased online in most cases below – is as follows:

  • General admission: $19.49 (valid any night of Holiday Lights)
  • Friday or Sunday admission: $18.49
  • Holiday Lights season pass: $28 (valid for unlimited visits to Kennywood Park during the 2019 Holiday Lights season)
  • Select Passholder Nights: Free! Active season passholders receive free admission on select Holiday Lights dates. Kennywood’s site indicates that 2019/2020 Silver, Premium, Ride & Slide, and Senior passholders can show their pass at the main gate for complimentary admission on Dec. 13, 15, 20, 22, as well as 26-30.