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Cold no match for First Night Pittsburgh fun as city fetes 2014

Jasmine Goldband | Trib Total Media - Steel Town Fire & Ice shows will return to First Night Pittsburgh festivities this year.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Trib Total Media</em></div>Steel Town Fire & Ice shows will return to First Night Pittsburgh festivities this year.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Mark Bardin, 8 of Squirrel Hill watches a performance by Steel Town Fire on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, during Pittsburgh's First Night festivities, Downtown.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Mark Bardin, 8 of Squirrel Hill watches a performance by Steel Town Fire on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, during Pittsburgh's First Night festivities, Downtown.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Erika May of Steel Town Fire entertains the crowd on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, during Pittsburgh's First Night festivities, Downtown.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Erika May of Steel Town Fire entertains the crowd on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, during Pittsburgh's First Night festivities, Downtown.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Emma Enos, 11 of Moon celebrates the New Year with a song on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, during Pittsburgh's First Night festivitties, Downtown.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Emma Enos, 11 of Moon celebrates the New Year with a song on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, during Pittsburgh's First Night festivitties, Downtown.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Kathy Smith of Ross takes a photo of her daughters Samantha, 8, and Sydney, 5, on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in the Ice Labyrinth Pittsburgh's First Night Pittsburgh festivities, Downtown.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Kathy Smith of Ross takes a photo of her daughters Samantha, 8, and Sydney, 5, on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in the Ice Labyrinth Pittsburgh's First Night Pittsburgh festivities, Downtown.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Children watch during a performance by Steel Town Fire at Fire & Ice Plaza as part of the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Children watch during a performance by Steel Town Fire at Fire & Ice Plaza as part of the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - Tahir Mehmood of South Park gives his daughter Carol Veinard, 3, a kiss as they warm up along Penn Avenue while celebrating the New Year with their family at the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>Tahir Mehmood of South Park gives his daughter Carol Veinard, 3, a kiss as they warm up along Penn Avenue while celebrating the New Year with their family at the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - A bird's-eye view of Fire & Ice plaza during Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>A bird's-eye view of Fire & Ice plaza during Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review - NoMAD performs at the Dollar Bank Stage as part of the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jasmine Goldband  |  Tribune-Review</em></div>NoMAD performs at the Dollar Bank Stage as part of the Highmark First Night Pittsburgh festivities on Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013.

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Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, 10:21 p.m.
 

Jovan Donaldson ended 2013 lost in a labyrinth of ice.

The 4-year-old boy confidently led his family through the frozen maze Downtown until he took a wrong turn.

“Remember, you told us to turn left when we should have turned right,” said his mother, Gina Garcia, who moved the family to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles a few months ago.

Jovan, bundled in a puffy coat with a knit hat pulled nearly to his eyes, flashed a warm grin and nodded yes.

“We're so cold; we really don't know what to do with ourselves,” Garcia said. “We might try to find a fire to stand beside.”

Tens of thousands braved temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Tuesday night to celebrate the new year at Pittsburgh's First Night.

About 35,000 people traveled Downtown in 2012 for the celebration, said Darcy Kucenic, director of Highmark First Night at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She expected more in 2013.

“Pittsburghers aren't afraid of a little cold,” she said.

Mason Lewis, 5, of Whitehall didn't mind the cold. Wearing a fiery orange coat and looking through blinking 2014 glasses, he watched fireworks early in the evening on top of his father's shoulders.

“They were crazy, like super speed,” Mason said.

The Enos family booked a hotel room Downtown, expecting the kids to party all night, said Matt Enos of Moon. His son, Oliver, 6, added to the boisterous street party with the blare of his plastic trumpet. Emma, 11, keeping warm under a tiger hat, danced with her sister, Hanna, 9, who wore a penguin hat. It was their first First Night.

It was the Brownlee family's first First Night as well. Brent, Autumn and daughter Iris, 2, recently moved to Mt. Lebanon from Seattle. They came to check out the early fireworks and the kids dance party, Brent Brownlee said, adding his daughter is quite the dancer.

“It's a great city for kids,” said Autumn Brownlee, who grew up north of Pittsburgh.

A long line formed at the entrance of the 40-foot-by-30-foot ice maze, built to mark the 20th anniversary of First Night. “I actually got lost twice,” Kucenic said. “And I've seen the map like 20 times.”

After First Night, the ice maze will move to the Four Seasons Lodge at Allegheny County's Boyce Park in Plum. The maze should open Saturday, said Kevin Evanto, a county spokesman.

Entry to the maze will be free. The county anticipates spending $12,000 on shipping and maintaining the maze, Evanto said.

First Night had plenty for adults, too. Amber Bash, 23, and Thomas O'Sullivan, 24, both of New Kensington, posed for photos together on ice thrones carved into the maze. The couple planned to ice skate and start 2014 with a kiss at midnight.

Aaron Aupperlee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7986 or aaupperlee@tribweb.com.

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