Category Archives: Light Up Night

Duquesne Light’s tree at Point State Park won’t be back. But it’s not all bad news!

Duquesne Light said last year that the very iconic tree at Point State Park would be retired at the end of the 2021 holiday season.

The private company that runs a public utility said a new, “sustainable” display would replace the 30-year-old Tree of Lights.

The company ran a crowd-sourced campaign to find the next holiday display.

The winning team was Ben Towne and his partners at Dagostino Electronic Services, Duquesne Light said in a news release. The release said Towne is a Carnegie Mellon University graduate.

The winning display, however, won’t go up for the 2022 holiday season.

The power company cited “ongoing supply chain constraints” and said it is planning for the display to premiere in 2023.

In the release, Duquesne Light President and CEO Kevin Walker said the company looks “forward to giving our customers and the community a new tree that they can be proud of and admire for years to come.”

But Duquesne Light won’t leave Point State Park in the dark this holiday season!

The company plans to add snowflakes and additional lighting to help “add a beautiful ambiance” to Point State Park, Walker said in the news release. The 2022 display will be ready in time for Light Up Night, which is on Nov. 19.

So, what will the display for 2023 include?

Well, it sounds really great, actually.

The company selected Towne and Dagostino through a crowd-sourced campaign using HeroX. Their motive was to find a display that would be more sustainable and “would better protect the integrity of the park grounds.”

The winning team’s submission included “a modern, bright, festive and ‘smart’ tree design,” Duquesne Light said, adding that it will be “environmentally friendly with the use of new technologies.”

Features proposed include LED light strings that will use battery packs “to ensure resiliency during potential power disruptions.”

And check this out — the 2023 display will be animated.

In a statement from Duquesne Light’s news release, Towne said his team “was informed by years spent absorbing Pittsburgh history, including days in the Heinz History Center with special focus in their exhibits about the history of innovation in Pittsburgh. Time and again, this city has come up against constraints and found innovative ways to reinvent itself, while keeping up fun traditions that bring people together.”

Looking forward to 2023!


The ultimate guide to Pittsburgh Light Up Night 2022

Pittsburgh Light Up Night 2022 marks 61 years since Pittsburgh first held a holiday-themed light up event. (In 1959, the city held its first light up event to celebrate the Pirates.)

This is your ultimate guide to doing ALL THE THINGS for Pittsburgh Light Up Night 2021! SHARE and BOOKMARK this page.

Remember: Pittsburgh Light Up Night is on Saturday, Nov. 19, this year. Some events do take place Friday, Nov. 18.


Friday, Nov. 18

Santa’s House at Heinz Hall Courtyard

Visit Santa’s House at the Heinz Hall Courtyard. Get photos with Santa, and share your wish list with Santa.

Noon to 3, 4-7 p.m.

PPG Place

9 a.m. — Spirits of Giving from Around the World exhibit opens at PPG Place. The 16 life-sized Santas are on display in the windows of Two PPG Place along Fourth Avenue.
11 a.m. to midnight — Public skating opens at UPMC Rink at PPG Plaza
4:45 p.m. — RMU Island Sports figure skating show
5 p.m. — East End Kids performance
5:30 p.m. — American Cancer Society’s Tribute of Light Ceremony
6 p.m. — UPMC Ultimate Holiday Tree Lighting
6:15 p.m. — LED baton twirling performance
9 p.m. — Big Blitz Band concert

Market Square

Market Square Christmas tree with Fifth Avenue Place in the background

11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. — Peoples Gas Holiday Market grand opening
11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Live music on the stage
5 p.m. — “Pittsburgh Today Live” singers
5:30 to 9 p.m. — Merry Karaoke

Allegheny County Courthouse

Noon — Allegheny County Courthouse Tree lighting ceremony in the courtyard

U.S. Steel Tower Plaza

Noon — Blessing and opening of the Pittsburgh Crèche


Saturday, Nov. 19

Tree lightings, other ceremonies, fun, fireworks

5 p.m. — City of Pittsburgh Tree Lighting with Zambelli rooftop fireworks at the City-County Building; see the 20th annual Gingerbread House Display & Competition

5 p.m. — Prantl’s 1-ton Horne’s Tree replica cake at 2 Gateway Center! This 8-foot-tall burnt almond torte will honor a throwback to Pittsburgh holidays — a replica of the Horne’s Tree! Take selfies with the cake. Slices will be available on Sunday, with proceeds benefitting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

6 p.m. — Highmark Christmas (Horne’s) Tree lighting with Zambelli rooftop fireworks at Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue

9:30 p.m. — Xfinity Fireworks Spectacular with “supersized” Zambelli finale, Allegheny Overlook on Fort Duquesne Boulevard

Music and entertainment

Highmark Main Stage (Horne’s Tree)
Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue
12 – 5 p.m. — Ultimate Disney Tribute Band
5:30 – 6 p.m. — Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers
6 p.m. — Highmark Christmas Tree lighting with Zambelli rooftop fireworks
6:20 – 6:50 p.m. — Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers
7:30 – 9 p.m. — Royce

Xfinity Riverside Stage
Fort Duquesne Boulevard and Sixth Street
4 to 6 p.m. — Orange Music, featuring Isaiah Small
6:30 to 7:45 p.m. — Mr. Smalls All-Star Rolling Stones Tribute
8:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
9:30 p.m. — Xfinity Fireworks Spectacular with “supersized” Zambelli grand finale

Sounds of the Season Stage
Market Square
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. — Wild Blue Yonder
2:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. — Paging Dr. Moon
5:30 to 9:30 p.m. — Con Alma presents Live Jazz

Cultural District Stage
Penn Avenue and Seventh Street
2 to 3:30 p.m. — Miss Freddye
4 to 5 p.m. — Sierra Sellers
5:30 p.m. — Pickup Line

City of Pittsburgh Grant Street Stage
414 Grant St.
4 to 5 p.m. — Ben & Friends
5 p.m. — City-County Building tree lighting with Zambelli rooftop fireworks
5:30 to 6:30 p.m. — River City Brass and Santa’s arrival
7 to 7:45 p.m. — CAPA Jazz Band
7:45 to 8 p.m. — Salvation Army Band
8 p.m. — Light show

Oxford Center Stage
301 Grant St.
5:45 to 9 p.m. — Holiday music by Scott and Rosanna
5:45 p.m. — Tree lighting ceremony and Santa’s arrival
6 to 9 p.m. — Visit with Santa