Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Announces Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020 New Year’s Eve Celebration Lineup

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018 Credit: Jason Cohn

Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 6 p.m.–midnight
Cultural District | Downtown Pittsburgh 

On December 3, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announced the complete programming lineup for Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020. Starting at 6 p.m. on December 31, 2019, acclaimed local, national, and international artists will animate the Cultural District and ring in the New Year. Two Zambelli fireworks displays, the signature New Year’s Eve Parade and its famed giant puppets, the “Countdown to Midnight,” and raising of the Future of Pittsburgh Ball complete the celebration.

As always, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 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 in indoor and outdoor venues. Ninety percent of all Highmark First Night Pittsburgh programming taking place inside theaters, galleries, and event spaces.

The Cultural Trust is happy to announce the continuation of its Trust Oasis public art space on Seventh Street, with a new piece premiering at Highmark First Night Pittsburgh. Prismatica is an enormous, interactive modern ice palace made up of giant prisms coming to Pittsburgh from the Quartier de Spectacles Partnership in Montreal. The prisms create a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors and light after sunset, sure to amaze revelers this New Year’s Eve. The piece will remain until March of 2020.

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018

Other outdoor experiences include the ‘Take Flight’ New Year’s Eve Parade featuring Studio Capezzuti puppets, Fire and Ice Plaza at Penn Avenue and Ninth Street, Kidsplay at the Heinz Hall Courtyard, and the Highmark Health and Allegheny Health Network sponsored Family Tent at Penn Avenue and Seventh Street.

Indoor program highlights include Arcade Comedy Theater, The Zuzu African Acrobats and musician Sierra Sellers at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, New Year’s Eve Comedy Showcase at the Byham Theater, Bookish in the ‘Burgh author talks, face painting, tarot card readings, and caricatures at Fifth Avenue Place, magicians Jon Tai and Robert Ramirez at Liberty Magic and the O’Reilly Theater, and in the Trust Arts Education Center, a special pilot of Game Time!, the Cultural Trust’s new live, large-scale game show premiering in April 2020.

Before the evening’s finale, The Shadowboxers will take the Highmark Stage at 10:45 p.m. to begin the countdown to midnight. This trio formed in 2007 at Emory University and their combination of vocals, keyboard, and guitar is rhythmically driven with layers of tempos and harmonies. They have played with the Indigo Girls and most recently, The Shadowboxers opened for Justin Timberlake on his Man in the Woods tour.

These listings are just a sample of more than 100 events and activities available during the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020. Continue to check back at TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH for the complete schedule of events, and to plan your Cultural District visit on New Year’s Eve.

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2018 Credit: Jason Cohn


Admission Buttons are $10 each (children five and under are FREE) and grant access to all attractions in the Cultural District on New Year’s Eve. The First Night Friend VIP experience ($40) is also available, and provides priority access to seating, parking, a private lounge sponsored by Citizens Bank, and more. Most importantly, the First Night Friend program ensures that Highmark First Night Pittsburgh continues for years to come.

Admission Buttons and First Night Friend VIP Packages are now available for sale at TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH, in person at the Box Office at Theater Square (655 Penn Avenue), or by phone at (412) 456-6666.

Additionally, participating Giant Eagle store locations will have Admission Buttons available for sale at half price. This special discount is also available at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh branches throughout Pittsburgh. When library members check out a book between now and December 25th, they will receive a special bookmark with discount and redemption details.

Some indoor performances require free reserved seating and are listed at TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH.

Sponsors, Community, and Media Partners

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2020 sponsors as of December 3, 2019 include Presenting Sponsor Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Allegheny Health Network, FedEx Ground, Giant Eagle, Williams, Citizens Bank, PNC, and Dollar Bank. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 community supporters include The Buhl Foundation, The Fine Foundation, The Grable Foundation, and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2019 media partners include WESA 90.5 FM, WYEP 91.3 FM, Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Current, and KDKA-TV.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners.  Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District.  

The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization.  A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life.  Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts. 

TrustArts.org | @CulturalTrust on Facebook · Instagram · Twitter

Highmark First Night Pittsburgh
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).