City turns on the glow to open holiday season
By Tony LaRussa
Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 8:48 p.m.
Camden Lookabaugh clung to his mother, Chrissy, and gripped a plush toy in one hand as they looked out at the crowd of several thousand people gathered in PPG Plaza on Friday to watch the lighting of a 65-foot-tall Christmas tree.
Camden's hesitancy melted away when Hannah Smith, 15, of Murrysville took the 3-year-old Arnold boy's hand and together they hit a switch mounted on a gift-wrapped box to light the tree.
Camden and Smith, who are both cancer survivors, were selected by the American Cancer Society to help usher in Pittsburgh's 52nd annual Light Up Night.
"We're just so thankful to the Lord that Camden is healthy and able to attend," said his father, Josh Lookabaugh.
Smith said participating in the event was "really exciting" because she has been attending the annual kickoff to the holiday shopping season Downtown since she was a young child.
"We come down here every year to see the windows at Macy's and participate in all the activities," she said. "It's sort of a tradition for our family, so being able to participate by lighting one of the trees is really great."
The tree in PPG Plaza was among seven lighted on Friday, including one at noon by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl at the City-County Building and culminating with Santa's flipping the switch for the Market Square Season of Lights stage show.
Entertainment was provided at several locations in Downtown and at Station Square in the South Side. Performers included Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers, the Al Dowe and Etta Cox Trio and No Bad Juju.
Karen Miller, 67, who lives Downtown with her husband, Richard, 70, said it was "fabulous" to see so many young families attending Light Up Night.
"This has just grown and grown over the past few years," she said. "I love that all these young people and children are here having such a great time."
Pittsburgh police geared up to deal with any problems by assigning some 100 officers, including a number of K-9 and bicycle units that are able to maneuver quickly through crowded streets.
"Seems like a million people Downtown," joked city police spokeswoman Diane Richard.
Police responded to scattered reports of fights at various locations - such as Wood Street, Liberty Avenue and Stanwix Street, and Ninth Street - but there were no immediate reports of arrests or serious injuries.
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- Officials ID Elizabeth Township man as West End train victim
- Work on tournament-class dek hockey rink in Bloomfield to begin
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- Bullied South Fayette student’s case prompts wiretap overhaul legislation
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Heir of ‘Great Renegade’ Girty preserves history of Squirrel Hill settlers
- District attorney’s office takes paperwork from Wilkinsburg Middle School