As another New Year in Pittsburgh quickly approaches, less than two weeks remain to solidify your plans for ringing in 2024. But don’t fret, the 30th annual Highmark First Night presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has got you covered!

Pittsburgh’s answer to the NYC Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration has all the same excitement with lesser crowds. Keep reading for the highlights of this year’s event in the heart of the Cultural District!

Start the New Year Off with a Spark!

New Year’s Eve just isn’t right without a fireworks show. Highmark First Night officially kicks off at 6pm with the Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks at the Highmark Stage. This location will also close out 2023 with even more fireworks at 11:55pm for the grand finale.

While the clock counts down to midnight, the iconic Future of Pittsburgh Ball will steadily rise, ushering in 2024. But, there’s even more fiery experiences to be had!

From 6pm – 11pm, visit the Giant Eagle Backyard at 8th & Penn to witness the splendor of the Firetree Project presented by Dollar Bank. Guests are encouraged to touch the interactive 24-foot-tall steel sculpture that looks straight out of a fairytale!

Fun for the Entire Family

This NYE, send the babysitter home! Take the entire family downtown for endless magic, craft making, pop-up performers and much more.

Marvel at the giant signature puppets in the New Year’s Eve Parade presented by Giant Eagle, send a message to the moon at the Moonshot Museum, make colorful holiday creations, build a LEGO masterpiece, spot the wonders of O’Ryan the O’Mazing, get your caricature crafted and so much more!

Be sure to follow the parade route to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand reopening of the Clemente Bridge!

Performances of a Lifetime

Head to the Highmark Stage at 6:05pm for a performance by the winner of this year’s SING-OFF Competition. Every year, the SING-OFF Competition awards local students (grades 6 – 12) with the amazing chance to perform live at Highmark First Night. Witness the talent of all the finalists at the Giant Eagle Backyard at 8th & Penn stage in a group performance starting at 7pm.

Additional performances throughout the night include sword dancing by interpretive dancer Tadashi at the Trust Arts Education Center, thrilling displays of movement by Zuzu African Acrobats at multiple locations, music by Pittsburgh jazz great Dwayne Dolphin at the newly renovated Greer Cabaret Theater and an eclectic line-up of sounds at the Highmark Stage.

Following, the New Orleans based and Pittsburgh native Lyndsey Smith will end the night with an electrifying concert!

Art, Film + Backstage Memories

Escape the night air! Explore one of the several art galleries throughout the Cultural District presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Watch a cartoon classic at the Harris Theater, join the Alumni Theater Company for a night of poetry at the Trust Arts Education Center, experience up close magic by Mr. Messado at the Greer Cabaret Theater and attend a guided tour of the historic Byham Theater! 

For the full line-up of programming visit

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Rebecca Hansborough

Rebecca is a Pittsburgh transplant of five years with experience in content writing, social media management, public relations, web editing, and much more. Her passion for food inspired her to create an Instagram based food blog that shares a combination of local cuisine and homemade meals. When she’s not focusing on food, she also enjoys the Pittsburgh arts and entertainment scene, from Broadway shows, music festivals, to gallery crawls. She is excited to share her love for all things Pittsburgh with future readers!

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