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Pittsburgh's First Night partiers may shiver ringing in 2013

| Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, 11:42 p.m.
Mike Papinchak makes some checks of the lighting system from the Penn Avenue and Seventh Street light programming spot for the Pittsburgh First Night celebration on Sunday December 30, 2012. The lights will shine on several Downtown buildings tomorrow night. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review

Tens of thousands of revelers will deal with chilly temperatures and Downtown road closures on Monday night as they welcome the New Year at the 18th annual First Night Pittsburgh celebrations.

Darcy Kucenic, director of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, said the festivities will be family-friendly but offer options for every age group.

“We have 150 events in 45 venues,” Kucenic said. “It's important that it's open to all ages, but there is plenty to do for adults. There's something for everyone.”

The party will begin at 6 p.m. with a performance by American Idol semifinalist Adam Brock, a Washington County native who will perform on the Dollar Bank Stage at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue. The concert leads into a fireworks show for younger children who might not make it to the midnight spectacle, arranged by Zambelli fireworks.

Other events include stand-up comedy, ice sculpting, music, performance art and the First Night Parade, which starts at 8 p.m.

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band will perform on the Highmark Stage on Penn Avenue at 10:45 p.m. Their show will lead into the ball-raising atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place during the Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale.

Road closures will cause traffic issues, but visitors will have access to every parking garage in the Cultural District, Kucenic said. Penn Avenue will be closed from 10th Street to Stanwix Street, but Liberty Avenue will remain open, she said.

Admission buttons cost $8 when purchased in advance — either online or at participating Giant Eagle stores — or $10 at the event.

Kucenic encouraged families to visit the First Night web site and plan their evening.

Last year, 50,000 people attended First Night Pittsburgh, when New Year's Eve was on a Saturday night and the weather was unseasonably mild. This year, turnout could be lower, Kucenic said, because it will be colder, with temperatures around 30 degrees, and because New Year's Eve falls on a Monday night.

Chris Togneri is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5632 or ctogneri@tribweb.com.

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