If you’re looking for a place to ring in the new year, hop on down to the Cultural District.
Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2022 features free outdoor and indoor performances, art galleries, fireworks (of course) … and giant, inflatable, illuminated rabbits.
The festivities will take place on Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. to midnight throughout a 14-block radius. A 50-foot mama bunny and her 12-foot babies will be on display at the Eighth Str. block of Penn Ave. through Jan. 28.
The critters are part of an art installation called “Intrude” created by artist Amanda Parer of Parer Studio in Australia. Once visitors get up close to the artwork, they’ll learn more about the serious environmental problems the cute creatures cause in the Land Down Under. The public art piece will be inflated and deflated daily, signifying when the rabbits wake and go to sleep.
In addition to larger-than-life bunnies, First Night participants can enjoy four stages of entertainment, which culminate with a performance from the Byron Nash Trio. There will be a parade featuring massive Studio Capezzuti puppets, comedy skits and other activities for all ages.
Select indoor shows at Liberty Magic, Bricolage and the Harris Theater require a free ticket for entry due to limited capacity. Make your reservation online.
How is Covid impacting the New Year’s Eve festivities Downtown?
For ticketed events inside Pittsburgh Cultural Trust venues, patrons are required to provide proof of vaccination and a valid ID, plus they must mask up for the duration of their visit indoors. Attendees under the age of 12 are not required to be vaccinated but must wear a mask and be accompanied by an adult who meets the venue’s health and safety requirements.
Folks visiting indoor art galleries are not required to be vaccinated, but everyone must wear a mask regardless of age.
Vaccines and masks are not required while attending outdoor activities, however, the Cultural District is a mask-friendly place and everyone is encouraged to cover up.
You can get the VIP treatment by becoming a First Night Friend.
The designation gives you access to the First Night Friends Lounge with hot beverages, treats and fun from 6 to 11 p.m., plus an LED button to wear during the celebration. First Night Friends will receive enhanced access to seats for select outdoor events and one reserved pre-paid space per household in the Theater Square Garage (even if it’s full to the public).
Can’t make it Downtown? First Night will be broadcast live from 11 p.m. to midnight on KDKA-TV. “Pittsburgh Today Live” hosts Heather Abraham and David Highfield will be live from the Cultural District to ring in 2022.