Cold no match for First Night Pittsburgh fun as city fetes 2014
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.
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.
- Homewood welcomes nonprofit Animal Rescue League’s new shelter, clinic
- Ferrante suicide letter says he did not kill wife
- Inappropriate dress wears thin in schools, courts, jails, elsewhere
- Newsmaker: Matthew Zupetic
- Ferrante defense questions recordkeeping of lab that tested cyanide
- Defense witness testifies on video, absent jurors, of cyanide alternatives
- 32nd District seat in Pa. perceived as pivotal for chamber control
- North Side residents work on raising $5,000 to replace gardener’s truck
- Movie studio owner building in McKees Rocks is $540K in red
- 3 named to new Pittsburgh land bank group
- Lawyer for man accused of Homewood shooting says he acted in self-defense