Tag Archives: Celebrate the Season Parade

‘A Very Merry Pittsburgh’ returns to Heinz History Center

Take a step back in time when Downtown Pittsburgh was full of retailers, festive window displays and so much holiday cheer.

Heinz History Center’s “A Very Merry Pittsburgh” exhibit is back this holiday season. The exhibit opens Nov. 20 and continues through Jan. 17.

The special exhibit features a variety of holiday-themed artifacts, images and keepsakes showing how people across the region have celebrated the holidays, including Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Christmas and more.

As the history center notes, the exhibit “will transport you back to the bustling holiday season in Downtown Pittsburgh” with amazing window displays from Kaufmann’s, Horne’s and other department stores of Pittsburgh past.

No holiday trip to town was complete without a visit with Santa! And the Heinz History Center has Pittsburgh’s own Santa in a replica of the famous Kaufmann’s chair.

Santa will appear from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following days:

  • Saturday, Nov. 20
  • Friday, Nov. 26
  • Saturday, Nov. 27
  • Saturday, Dec. 4
  • Saturday, Dec. 11
  • Saturday, Dec. 18

This is a great experience to see how Pittsburghers celebrate a variety of holidays throughout the season.

Make time to see:

  • Objects from Kaufmann’s Santaland — including Santa’s original chair
  • See the mailbox where thousands of Pittsburgh children mailed their Christmas wish lists to the North Pole.
  • Check out retro toys including Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and Mr. Potato Head

Special events

Know before you go

Face masks are required while indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more about the history center’s health and safety protocols.

WPXI cancels annual Pittsburgh holiday parade

After 39 years of marching down Pittsburgh streets, the annual holiday parade has been canceled.

WPXI-TV, which produced the parade, announced the news Sept. 8. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the pandemic, but WPXI ran a 40th anniversary special.

First organized by Kaufmann’s Department Store, the parade began in 1980. It was known as the “Celebrate the Season” parade until Kaufmann’s folded into Macy’s. The parade then became known as the My Macy’s Holiday Parade.

When Macy’s closed the longtime Downtown Kaufmann’s store, they ended their sponsorship of the parade. WPXI worked with sponsors, including Pittsburgh Public Schools and Neighborhood Ford Stores.

Over the years, the parade hosted several celebrities, including Alex Trebek, a number of NBC stars, Steelers players and, of course, hundreds of high school bands.

The WPXI post alluded to the possibility of a return in the future. A Christmas miracle, perhaps?

I have fond memories of watching the parade on TV. Growing up, I recall decorating trees with my grandma and later with my mom while the parade was on.

And, believe it or not, I’d never been to the parade in person!

There was always something about watching it on TV with David Johnson and Peggy Finnegan co-hosting. And, of course, David Johnson’s Yogi Bear impersonation.