Light Up Night® Weekend Celebrates 50 Years; Events Include Lighting the Unity Tree and the Highmark Light Up Night® March

Nov 04, 2010, 14:45 ET from Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 4, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Light Up Night is turning 50, and to celebrate, Fifth Avenue Place and its retailers will host family-friendly activities throughout a two-day celebration beginning Friday, Nov. 19 at 4 p.m. to Saturday, Nov. 20 until 7:30 p.m. Family programming will include the "magical" lighting of the Unity Tree, musical performances by area marching bands and visits by costumed holiday characters.

"As Light Up Night turns 50, Fifth Avenue Place is especially excited to once again participate in the celebration," said Kerry Donahue, retail marketing specialist with the center. "At Fifth Avenue Place, we offer lots of fun activities for families to enjoy in addition to live entertainment, holiday shopping, fine dining and more."

The lighting of the Highmark Unity Tree generates holiday enthusiasm and symbolizes the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. The tree – sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and located at the corner of Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street – has been a Pittsburgh tradition since 1953 when it was first introduced by Horne's Department Store.

A new twist this year will occur when the Highmark March – consisting of area marching bands – will pass by the Unity Tree and light the tree on their way to a huge bridge party.  

Fifth Avenue Place programming for 2010 Light Up Night festivities on Friday, Nov. 19 will include:

  • Highmark Light Up Night March

7:15 p.m.: Grant Street. The Highmark Light Up Night March will be led by five regional high school marching bands totaling 500 students. The bands will travel from the Pittsburgh Creche on Grant Street with performance stops along the way before arriving at the Roberto Clemente Bridge (former Sixth Street Bridge) for the Roberto Clemente Bridge Party featuring some of Pittsburgh's most prominent entertainers, food vendors and children's activities.

  • Lighting of the Unity Tree

7 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.; Corner of Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street. Be amazed by the exciting new lighting of the Unity Tree featuring live band performances from the Highmark March.

  • Fifth Avenue FREEZE

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Corner of Fifth and Liberty avenues. Ice carving shows begin every hour starting at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Explore Pittsburgh's own North Pole. See and touch the icy, life-sized Santa and snap photos with his frozen elves, reindeer and more. Catch live ice carving shows by world champion ice carver Rich Bubin and kids can test their skills with Arctic games.

  • Festive Family Fun

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; First Level. Capture the memories of Light Up Night and create a "Photo ice cube" with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. Pose for the camera, insert your photo into the cube and then decorate it – creating your own Light Up Night souvenir. Show your holiday spirit with an airbrush tattoo, and keep an eye out for the Winter Fairy – a mystical, magical visitor from the North Pole.

  • Sounds of the Season

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Center Court. Live musical performances featuring collaborations by Gerald Haymon and pianist Deana Muro.

  • First Night 2011 at Light Up Night

5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Center Court. Get ready for First Night 2011, Pittsburgh's biggest New Year's Eve party! First Night buttons will be available for purchase at Fifth Avenue Place and at the box office at Theater Square. For more information, visit

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Light Up Night, the holiday fun continues into Saturday, Nov. 20. Fifth Avenue Place festivities include:  

  • Light Up Bonus

Noon to 5 p.m.; Center Court

Jump start your holiday shopping and earn a free Fifth Avenue Place gift certificate with qualifying retail purchases. Limit: one per person; see stores for details.

  • Games, Prizes, Music & More

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; First Level

Play holiday toss for a chance to win a light-up necklace and get your face painted. Create a comic of the North Pole with "Toon" Brian and enjoy a live musical performance by the Roger Barbour Jazz Quartet and Yaney + Marcinizyn.

Fifth Avenue Place will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, with some shops and eateries open later both days. For more information and a complete schedule of Pittsburgh's Light Up Night activities, visit

About Fifth Avenue Place

Open Monday through Saturday, Fifth Avenue Place features shopping and dining, including specialty shops, food court and Caffe Amante, a full-service, fine dining restaurant. Fifth Avenue Place is committed to sustainable, eco-friendly and green principles, which include the use of cold cathode and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs); a recycling program for bottles, cans and paper; and the use of environmentally friendly, Green Seal certified cleaning and paper products. For more information and a complete tenant directory, visit

SOURCE Highmark Inc.