You may still be working your way through Halloween candy and looking at spooky decorations, but the Christmas tree in PPG Place is already up (though unlit, of course). It’s nearly time for Light Up Night 2022.

Light Up Night, Pittsburgh’s definitive start to the holiday season, will again be on a Saturday this year — Nov. 19. The event — which includes live music, shopping, ice skating, fireworks and, of course, tree lightings — moved to Saturday last year to offer greater flexibility for families to attend, says event host, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Light Up Night 2022 will be more like Light Up Weekend, with plenty of things to do during the day throughout the holiday season, beginning on Friday, Nov. 18 with the opening of the Peoples Gas Holiday Market. Shoppers at the grand opening will receive a voucher for BOGO admission to either the Andy Warhol Museum or the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with a purchase at the market.

As always, live music will be a crucial part of the Downtown festivities across four stages, headlined by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Saturday night. Other performers include the Mr. Smalls All-Star Rolling Stones Tribute band, The Little Mermen: The Ultimate Disney Tribute Band, Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, and Royce.

Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Santa has a new home at Light Up Night this year at the Fred Rogers Selfie Garden in the Heinz Hall Courtyard. The space will feature life-sized characters from Fred Rogers Productions’ programs, including “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Peg + Cat,” “Donkey Hodie” and “Odd Squad.” Across the street at 6th Street and Liberty Avenue is the new indoor Holiday Kidsplay area where kids can decorate a Mister Rogers sweater ornament, make their own pickle ornament, visit with Pittsburgh mascots, play giant games and then wind down with a storytime.

Also new this year is a 1-ton, 8-foot-tall burnt almond torte cake from Prantl’s made in the shape of the Highmark Tree (formerly the Horne’s Tree). Find it in the lobby of Gateway Center at the corner of Stanwix Street and Penn Avenue, across the street from the real tree. Slices of the cake will be for sale on Sunday Funday (Nov. 20), another new feature this year, with all proceeds benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

The Light Up Night celebrations on Sunday Funday include more free performances on the Sounds of the Season Stage in Market Square, activities at the Kidsplay area and pictures with Santa at the Heinz Hall Courtyard. Photos with Santa in a keepsake frame are free with a donation to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Shoppers at the Peoples Gas Holiday Market. Photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

The full list of Light Up Night events

Friday, Nov. 18

Market Square

  • 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
    Peoples Gas Holiday Market grand opening
  • 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Live music
  • 5 p.m.
    “Pittsburgh Today Live” singers
  • 5:30-9 p.m.
    Merry Karaoke: Every singer draws a prize from a grab bag of restaurant gift cards, worth up to $500

Heinz Hall Courtyard (Fred Rogers Selfie Garden)

  • Noon-3 and 4-7 p.m.
    Santa’s House

PPG Plaza

  • 9 a.m.
    Spirits of Giving From Around the World exhibit opens in PPG Place
  • 11 a.m.
    Ice skating opens
  • 4:45 p.m.
    RMU Island Sports Ice 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

Allegheny County Courthouse

  • Noon
    County Courthouse Tree Lighting Ceremony in the courtyard

U.S. Steel Tower Plaza

  • Noon
    Blessing and opening of the Pittsburgh Crèche

Saturday, Nov. 19

Penn Avenue & Stanwix Street

  • Noon
    The Highmark Holiday Block Party, including a Pirates Mini-Fest with the Parrot and the Pierogies, face painting, balloon artists and inflatables.
  • 6 p.m.
    Highmark Christmas Tree lighting and Zambelli rooftop fireworks

The Highmark Main Stage

Grant Street / City-County Building

  • 5 p.m.
    City of Pittsburgh’s tree lighting and fireworks

Gateway Center

  • 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.
    BLAST! VIP Party, a ticketed event with signature cocktails, appetizers, and desserts. Tickets are $100 each.

Ft. Duquesne Boulevard

  • 9:30 p.m.
    Xfinity Fireworks Spectacular featuring Zambelli fireworks

Find holiday activities all season long on the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership website and even more exciting things to in Pittsburgh this month in our November Event Guide.

Cristina Holtzer

Cristina Holtzer is NEXTpittsburgh's Digital Editor. When she’s not laughing too hard at TikTok, Crissy can be found working on her novel or playing the Sims. Read her work in Everyday Health, The Kitchn,...