You can ring in the new year at home with Ryan Seacrest -- sadly, we lost Dick Clark this year -- or you can join the crowd at one of the city's most festive celebrations, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.
As Stefon would say on "Saturday Night Live," it has everything: Bollywood dancers, Japanese sword dancers, rockers, hip-hoppers, puppet paraders, treasure mappers, unicycling jugglers, human pinatas -- no, not really pinatas, but that's about all it doesn't have.
It begins at 6 p.m. Monday with a Dollar Bank Children's Fireworks Display and a performance by Adam Brock & The Soul Band on the Dollar Bank Stage at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue.
The evening concludes with a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans jazz/R&B institution since 1977, and then the Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place.
In between, the First Night Parade launches at 8 p.m and features grand marshals Curt Woottan and Chris Preksta of "Pittsburgh Dad," giant First Night Puppets, art cars, marching bands, a bicycle parade and members of the community. This year, the march features the element of light, as parade director Cheryl Capezzuti, for the first time, will be assisted by a lighting technician and choreographer for the puppets.
"The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is really putting a 'spotlight on the Cultural District' at this year's Highmark First Night Pittsburgh to usher in 2013," says Darcy Kucenic, director of First Night for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. "This year's First Night Parade has a theme of 'light' and promises to be an amazing spectacle. The Trust has expanded two of the most popular events: Fire & Ice Plaza and the First Night Comedy Club. Fire & Ice Plaza, featuring Steel Town Fire and Ice Creations, will be even bigger and better than last year."
Among the 100-plus events and activities held in 45 venues, attractions include the First National Bank Family Tent featuring hands-on activities for all ages; Equitable Gas Marquee Performances with House of Soul at the Benedum Center, Equitable Gas Sing Off winner to open for House of Soul, and River City Brass at the Byham Theater; the annual Resolution Sculpture created this year by Dave Bernabo and Lindsey Clark and titled "Chance Resolution"; and WYEP Music Station Local Band of the Year, Broken Fences.
New this year will be the First Night Comedy Club held in the Trust's Cabaret Theater at Theater Square as a vouchered event. It's the first time the Cabaret Theater will be used for the event.
The Highmark Stage, where all the First Night revelry concludes, is on Penn Avenue next to Fifth Avenue Place. The Penn Avenue big screen, an extra large jumbotron in the middle of the street, will broadcast live surprises throughout the night and enhance the ball-raising experience by broadcasting the culminating events for all attendees to see.
This year marks a decade that the Cultural Trust has produced First Night, now in its 18th year.
"Highmark First Night Pittsburgh is one of the largest, and yet one of the most affordable, First Night celebrations in the country," says Ms. Kucenic. "It is the support of our sponsors, especially our presenting sponsor, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, that keeps the price of a button down. For the same cost as a movie ticket, you can see 150 events in nearly 45 venues, all focused around the arts."
Events are open to those wearing "all-access" buttons, available for $8 in advance at participating Giant Eagle locations, the Box Office at Theater Square or by calling 412-456-6666. Buttons are $10 at the door. Children under 5 are free.
Some events require special vouchers, which will be available for free at the Theater Square box office starting next week. Printable vouchers also will available for the first time online at www.FirstNightPgh.org.With one button, attendees can reserve one voucher for a performance at each attraction.
The Highmark First Night Pittsburgh website provides even more event details and allows users to sort through the schedule of events and customize plans. FirstNightPgh.org is also mobile-friendly and will allow smartphone users to plan on-the-go during New Year's Eve.
FIRST NIGHT HAPPENINGS
Schedule of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh events.
119 6TH ST.
Flashdance by Mundania Horvath -- print designs based on the musical; 6-11 p.m.
131 7TH ST.
Symbiotic Collusion: Wonder Bred -- music and captivating visuals; 7-11 p.m.
707 PENN AVE.
Carolina Loyola-Garcia and Colter Harper: After Dark -- mysterious image gallery; 6-11 p.m.
709 PENN AVE.
The Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh's Holiday Artists Market -- Handmade one-of-a-kind artwork, 6-11 p.m.
811 LIBERTY AVE.
One Young World Ribbon Display -- showcase of unity from One Young World in Pittsburgh; 6-11 p.m.
819 PENN AVE.
"Guns vs. Butter" -- Poster exhibition detailing war struggles; 6-11 p.m.
937 LIBERTY AVE.
1st floor, Bricolage
The Josh & Gab Show -- rock 'n roll comedy duo); 6:15-7, 7:30-8:15 and 9-9:45 p.m.
"Six x Ate: Sound, Time, Space" -- exhibit highlighting a dinner and lecture series; 6-11 p.m.
3rd floor, Pittsburgh Playwrights
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company -- Two plays from the 2012 Theater Festival in Black and White; 7-8, 8:30-9:30 and 10-11 p.m.
ARTHUR MURRAY DANCE STUDIO, 136 6TH ST.
Dance lessons: salsa (10-10:30 p.m.), merengue (10:30-11 p.m.), waltz (7:30-8 p.m.), swing (8-8:30 p.m.), tango (8:30-9 p.m.), rhumba (9-9:30 p.m.), cha cha (9:30-10 p.m.)
AUGUST WILSON CENTER, 980 LIBERTY AVE.
"Pittsburgh: Reclaim, Renew, Remix" -- Exhibit heralds local African-American heritage; 6-11 p.m.
Decoration Station -- Pittsburgh Japanese Cultural Society; 6-10 p.m.
"The Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936" -- Stirring historical exhibit; 6-11 p.m.
Decoration Station -- Silk Screen: Asian Arts Organization; 6-10 p.m.
AcoustiCafe (7-11 p.m.), Frank Dinardo (7-7:20 p.m.), Devon Souls (7:20-7:40 p.m.), Chris Hannigan (7:40-8:10 p.m.), Mark Dignam (8:10-8:40 p.m.), Jeremy Colbert (8:40-9:10 p.m.), Ben Shannon (9:10-9:40 p.m.), Vox Lumina (9:40-10:10 p.m.), Joy Ike (10:10-11 p.m.)
Busk Pittsburgh: Sam Wise -- Close-up magic; 6-11 p.m.
Silk Screen -- Asian Arts Organization Showcase
ApalAsia -- American/Eastern fusion music; 10-11 p.m.
Filipino Association of Pittsburgh: Traditional dances from the Philippines; 6:30-6:45 and 7:45-8 p.m.
Organization of Chinese Americans: Traditional Chinese dance; 7-7:15 and 8-8:15 p.m.
Zang Tae Kwan Do: Tae Kwan Do demonstrations; 7:15-7:30 and 8:15-8:30 p.m.
Tadashi Kato: Japanese Sword Dancing; 7:30-7:45 and 9-9:15 p.m.
Yanlai Dance School: Traditional and modern Chinese dance; 8:30-8:45 p.m.
Win Win Kung Fu: Martial arts demonstrations; 8:45-9 and 9:30-9:45 p.m.
Classical Indian and Bollywood dance; 9:15-9:30 and 9:45-10 p.m.
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School -- A diverse program of dance; 6:45-7:10 p.m.
Texture Contemporary Ballet: Innovative, energetic and passionate ballet; 8:30-9:15 and 9:45-10:30 p.m.
AWESOME BOOKS, 929 LIBERTY AVE.
Jimmy Cvetic -- retired police officer and poet; 8-9 p.m.
BENEDUM CENTER, 237 7TH ST.
House of Soul; 6:45-7:45, 8:30-9:30 and 10-11 p.m.
BYHAM THEATER, 101 6TH ST.
River City Brass: A First Night Brasstacular; 7-7:50, and 9-9:50 p.m.
CABARET AT THEATER SQUARE, 655 PENN AVE.
First Night Comedy Club: Arcade Comedy -- spontaneous comedy based on audience suggestions; 6:30-7:10 and 9:30-10:10 p.m.
First Night Comedy Club: David Michael & Mike Wysocki: Stand-Up Comedy -- Comedy with two Pittsburgh great; 7:45-8:25 and 10:30-11:10 p.m.
CAPA SCHOOL, 111 9TH ST
World of Wonder co-presented with Pittsburgh International Children's Theater -- Magical theater with hand shadows, illusion, and storytelling; 6:15-7, 7:30-8:15 and 9-9:45 p.m.
Alumni Theater Company -- Uniting hip-hop, Broadway and pop culture; 6:45-7:15 and 7:45-8:15 p.m.
Black Box Theater
kNot Dance presents kNotty Follies -- Fun and eclectic dance performance; 9:30-10 and 10:30-11 p.m.
First Night Salsa Club
Guaracha Latin Dance Band -- Dance to live salsa music; 6:30-8 and 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Decoration Station: Pittsburgh International Children's Theater -- Origami, storytellings and glowing alphabet bracelets; 6-10 p.m.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF PITTSBURGH, 212 9TH ST.
Holden Puppets -- Pittsburgh's oldest puppet company; 6-10 p.m.
COURTYARD MARRIOTT, 945 PENN AVE.
Matthew Korbanic -- 8-string solo guitar; 6:15-7, 7:30-8 and 9-10 p.m.
DOLLAR BANK STAGE, PENN AVENUE & 7TH STREET
Adam Brock & The Soul Band -- American Idol Semi-Finalist Adam Brock with his Soul Band; 6-6:05, 6:20-7:15 and 8:30-10 p.m.
Dollar Bank Children's Fireworks Display -- Annual kick-off to Highmark First Night Pittsburgh; 6 p.m.
EQT PLAZA, 625 LIBERTY AVE.
Soul Line Dancing with Roland Ford; 6:30-7, 7:30-8 AND 9-9:30 p.m.
FAIRMONT HOTEL, 510 MARKET ST.
Jazz at Andys Quintet -- 8:30-11 p.m.
FIFTH AVENUE PLACE, 120 5TH AVE.
Jason Hudy -- Premier Magic Productions; 6:15-6:45, 7:30-8, 9-9:30 AND 10:30-11 p.m.
Decoration Station: Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse -- Hands-on creative fun with Reuse-a-Palooza; 6-11 p.m.
Caricaturists; 6-11 p.m.
Amber's Amazing Balloon Animals; 6:30-10:30 p.m.
The Magic of Matt Sigler -- Learn fun and easy magic tricks; 6:30-7:30, 8-9 and 9:30-10:30 p.m.
Wil E. Tri & the Bluescasters -- premier local blues band; 6:30-7:15, 7:45-8:30 and 9-9:45 p.m.
Windows on Penn
"2013: Envisioning a Wonderful World" -- Works presenting visions for 2013; 6-11 p.m.
FIRE AND ICE PLAZA, PENN AVENUE & 8TH STREET
Ice Creations -- Ice carvings, fire jugglers, and music; 6-11 p.m.
Steel Town Fire -- Lighting up Fire and Ice Plaza; 6:30-7, 7:30-8, 9-9:30 and 10-10:30 p.m.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK FAMILY TENT, PENN AVENUE & 7TH STREET
Decoration Station: Assemble Glow into 2013 with LED jewelry; 6-10 p.m.
Decoration Station: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh -- Create bookmarks and buttons; 6-10 p.m.
Decoration Station: Children's Museum of Pittsburgh -- Create a resolution view finder; 6-10 p.m.
Decoration Station: Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts -- Create unique art and sounds; 6-10 p.m.
Pirate Parrot -- Visit the Pittsburgh Pirates mascot; 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Steely McBeam -- Visit the Pittsburgh Steelers mascot; 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Fiddlesticks -- Visit the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's mascot; 8:30-9:30 p.m.
FRALEY'S ROBOT REPAIR, 210 6TH ST.
Fraley's Robot Repair -- Meet the lonely robot; 6-11 p.m.
HARRIS THEATER, 809 LIBERTY AVE.
Tiny Harris Gallery: Fridge Photos -- Interactive Pittsburgh photo exhibition; 6:30-11 p.m.
Classic Hollywood trailers -- Melodramas, thrillers and comedies; 6:30-11 p.m.
HEINZ HALL GARDEN, LIBERTY AVENUE & 6TH STREET
Timbeleza -- Samba street funk; 7-7:30 and 9:30-10:30 p.m.
HIGHMARK DIRECT TRUCK, PENN AVENUE & 9TH STREET
Hill Dancers by Douglas Cooper: Animated musical -- 6-11 p.m.
A Highmark Surprise Flash of Fun -- A flash surprise; 7:45-7:50 p.m.
HIGHMARK STAGE, PENN AVENUE
Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale; 11:59 p.m.
Wil E. Tri & the Bluescasters -- Local blues band; 10-10:30 p.m.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band -- World famous music machine; 10:45 p.m.-12:10 a.m.
LIBERTY AVENUE & 9TH STREET
Busk Pittsburgh: Brady Wegener -- Juggling and physical acrobatics; 6-11 p.m.
O'REILLY THEATER, 621 PENN AVE.
Lobby: What's In Your Stars for 2013? -- Angel card readings; 6:30-10:30 p.m.
PENN AVENUE & 6TH STREET
Busk Pittsburgh: Sean Miller-- Mentalism and other sideshow arts; 6-11 p.m.
PENN AVENUE & 7TH STREET
Busk Pittsburgh: Kristin Ward -- Fire consumption and dance; 6-11 p.m.
Magnolias for Pittsburgh -- Bronze hand-casted magnolia trees; 6-11 p.m.
PENN AVENUE & 8TH STREET
First Night Food Trucks; 6-11 p.m.
PENN AVENUE & 9TH STREET
Chance Resolution -- Interactive resolution exhibition; 6-11 p.m.
First Night Parade, 8 p.m.
PNC LEGACY PROJECT, 600 LIBERTY AVE.
PNC Legacy Project Exhibit -- Interactive exhibit showcasing Pittsburgh then and now; 6-8:30 p.m.
SHAW GALLERIES, 805 LIBERTY AVE.
Decoration Station -- Create a pirate treasure map; 6-10 p.m.
Black Flag: Pirates, Privateers and Buccaneers Revealed -- Exhibit exploring pirates; 6-10 p.m.
SPACE GALLERY, 812 LIBERTY AVE.
Romper Room; 6-11 p.m.
Cell Phone Disco -- Art+science interactive installation; 6-11 p.m.
TRUST ARTS EDUCATION CENTER, 805 LIBERTY AVE.
3rd Floor: Associated Artists of Pittsburgh: A Celebration -- New and established member art; 6-11 p.m.
4th Floor: "End of Time" by Pittsburgh Print Group -- Exhibit examining the end of time; 6-11 p.m.
4th Floor: Cello Fury -- Rock and classical music fusion; 6:45-7:30, 8:30-9:15 and 10-10:45 p.m.
First Night Jazz Club in the Peirce Studio hosted by Tony Mowod: Dwayne Dolphin Piccolo Bass Band; 6:30-8 p.m.
First Night Jazz Club in the Peirce Studio hosted by Tony Mowod: Hubb's Groove -- Music for the soul; 8:30-10:30 p.m.
URBAN PATHWAYS CHARTER SCHOOL, 914 PENN AVE.
FX Studio Face Painting & Associated Artists -- Professional face painting; 6:30-10:30 p.m.
925 PENN AVE.
Juggling Joe Wagner -- Juggling and unicycling; 6-11 p.m.
Alison K. Babusci, Storyteller -- Folktales come to life with puppets and more; 6:30-7 and 7:30-8 p.m.
Giggles the Clown -- Improvisation-inflation-creations; 7-11 p.m.
WOOD STREET GALLERIES, 601 WOOD ST.
The City & the City: Artwork by London Writers -- Examines the modern city through art; 6-11 p.m.
WYEP MUSIC STATION, 121 7TH ST.
Young Brokaw (6:30-7:15, 9:15-10 p.m.), Broken Fences (7:30-8:15, 10:15-11 p.m.)