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Transportation Detours, Street Closings Set for Pittsburgh's Light-Up Night Festivities, Parade

If you're heading for the annual festivities scheduled for Friday and Saturday around the Golden Triangle, plan your route and parking options first.

Planning to head to Downtown Pittsburgh Friday for Light-Up Night? How about Saturday for the Sounds of the Season Parade or other daylong holiday activities planned throughout the Golden Triangle?

Here are schedules and transportation details you'll want to keep in mind.

Pittsburgh's 52nd annual Light-Up Night begins at noon Friday, when Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl lights the tree at the City-County Building on Grant Street. Also set for noon: the annual dedication and blessing of the traditional Christmas creche at U.S. Steel Tower on Grant Street.

Most festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday, however, with events scheduled for three stage locations — in Market Square, on the Clemente Bridge and at EQT Plaza. Performers include Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers, No Bad JuJu, the Kenny Blake Quartet and other popular artists from around Western Pennsylvania.

Other attractions include ballet and theatrical performances, ice-carving shows, an on-ice performance of "The Polar Express" by Robert Morris University Island Sports Center's Figure Skating Academy, horse-drawn carriage rides and plenty of craft and family-friendly options. 

Friday's festivities will include tree-lighting ceremonies at various locations Downtown. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will officiate at the county courthouse lighting at 5:30 p.m.

Macy's will unveil this year's versions of its popular holiday-themed windows at 6:15 p.m. Santa arrives at 7:15 p.m. in Market Square for "Celebrate Santa," a choreographed musical in which he'll light a 33-foot, 1-ton tree and a 150,000-light holiday display. 

The Eat’n Park restaurant chain also will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its popular Christmas Star animated commercial with a special laser adaptation of the TV spot at Point State Park. Friday's events wrap up at 9:38 p.m. with a Zambelli fireworks show launched from the Warhol Bridge.

On Saturday, holiday activities and performances continue throughout the day in Market Square and other locations Downtown.

The annual Mascot Skate is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m. at The Rink at PPG Place. Market Square will be closed from noon to 9 p.m. for activities there.

The Sounds of the Season parade begins at 5 p.m. at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The parade route will follow Liberty Avenue to 11th Street and back to the convention center.

Port Authority of Allegheny County bus routes will operate on special detours Friday and Saturday during the festivities, and many streets will be closed or subject to detours and parking restrictions both days. Bus detours Friday will be in effect all evening, while detours Saturday will run from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accomodate the parade.

Most street closings, parking restrictions and resulting detours for motorists Friday will begin at 6 p.m., although police may enforce some earlier, Pittsburgh Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said. Police will shut down streets around Macy's at 4:30 p.m. to accomodate pedestrians viewing the window displays, Richard said.

Street closings, parking restrictions and resulting detours for motorists Saturday run from noon to 9 p.m. in Market Square, including Forbes Avenue at Wood Street. Police will also enforce detours and parking restrictions beginning at 4 p.m. along the parade route.

For a complete schedule, click here.  For a map of weekend events and the parade route, click here.

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