PRESS RELEASES

CITY OF PITTSBURGH TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY, ENTERTAINMENT & GINGERBREAD DISPLAY TO LAUNCH SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20

PITTSBURGH, PA (November 18, 2021)  On Saturday, November 20, the celebration of Pittsburgh’s holiday season will launch with the lighting of the City of Pittsburgh's Christmas tree on the Portico of the City-County Building and the unveiling of an online gallery showcasing gingerbread masterpieces created by talented individuals, families and groups living throughout western Pennsylvania.

In conjunction with the tree lighting festivities -- which take place 4 to 8 p.m. along Grant Street -- the 19th annual Gingerbread House Display and Competition will unveil its online photo gallery at www.pittsburghpa.gov/gingerbread for viewing through January 7.  Individuals visiting the gallery can vote online for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE award winner through December 31.

“The City of Pittsburgh is proud to serve as the presenter of this popular holiday tradition that attracts hundreds of entries each year," according to Special Events Manager Brian Katze. "While we hope to return to our traditional display format next year, due to ongoing COVID-19 safety precautions we've incorporated a virtual format in 2021 to enable individuals and groups to express their creativity and then upload photos of their creations to become part of the online display."

This year, the competition's winners will experience the honor of displaying their gingerbread houses on site at the historic City-County Building.  Beginning on November 20 -- Highmark Light Up Night in the City of Pittsburgh -- and continuing throughout the holiday season, dozens of award-winning houses will be displayed in the windows of the building's Grant Street Portico alongside Pittsburgh's 106th Christmas Tree. The City-County Building Portico is open to the public around the clock, and the winning creations will be available for viewing through January 7.

The Gingerbread House Display and Competition launched in 2002 when Downtown hotels held a competition to benefit the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund. Since then, the competition has attracted thousands of entries displayed at PPG Place before moving to the City-County Building Grand Lobby in 2019. The competition took place in 2020 in a virtual format. 

The 2021 Gingerbread House Display and Competition is presented by the City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events in partnership with KDKA Radio, 100.7 Star, Y108 and 93.7 The Fan. For details, visit www.pittsburghpa.gov/gingerbread.

NOVEMBER 20 TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY & ENTERTAINMENT ON GRANT STREET STAGE

The City of Pittsburgh's celebration of the 2021 holiday season kicks off with the lighting of a magnificent decorated 45-foot evergreen on the Portico of the City-County Building on Saturday, November 20, as part of Highmark Light Up Night festivities. The four-hour celebration on the Portico and along Grant Street will include musical entertainment, fireworks, a light show, food trucks and the lighting of the City's official Christmas tree, the only live holiday tree in Downtown Pittsburgh. The tree lighting carries on a treasured tradition for the 106th year. 

Pittsburgh's official Christmas Tree was first erected at the construction site of the City-County Building in 1915. For more than a century, a beautiful live evergreen (the only live holiday tree Downtown) has graced the front steps of our seat of government. Visitors enjoy hundreds of larger than life ornaments, including Pittsburgh’s Coat of Arms designed by Wendell August Forge and 90 distinct ornaments, each bearing the name of Pittsburgh's beloved neighborhoods. The Fuga Family of Lincoln Place donated the 2021 tree, a 45-foot blue spruce.

The 2021 Tree Lighting Ceremony is presented by the City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events in partnership with KDKA Radio, 100.7 Star, Y108 and 93.7 The Fan. For details, visit www.pittsburghpa.gov/events/tree

CITY-COUNTY BUILDLING PORTICO & GRANT STREET STAGE

4 - 5 p.m. RIVER CITY BRASS
5 - 5:20 p.m. TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY, FIREWORKS & LIGHT SHOW
5:30 - 6 p.m. TEXTURE CONTEMPORARY BALLET
6:30 - 6:45 p.m. CLO HOLIDAY MEDLEY
6:45 p.m. CITY-COUNTY BUILDING LIGHT SHOW
7 - 7:30 p.m. PITCHES AND TONES
7:45 - 8 p.m. CLO HOLIDAY MEDLEY
8 p.m. CITY-COUNTY BUILDING LIGHT SHOW

 

Published

11.18.2021

Contacts

Mary Beth Mueller
Publicist
Special Events
412.351.7702
marybeth.mueller@pittsburghpa.gov