Stay warm, see holiday lights at Lumaze Pittsburgh, a new indoor festival
Run through sparking icicles. Take a seat in an illuminated horse’s carriage. Walk under a tunnel of lights. Enter a castle of bright bulbs. Pose for a photo next to a gigantic glass slipper.
These are a few of the experiences at Lumaze Pittsburgh, a new indoor holiday festival, which makes its U.S. debut in Pittsburgh on Saturday through Jan. 4 at the 31st Street Studios in the Strip District. The studios are housed in an old steel mill.
“This old steel mill is classic Pittsburgh,” said Jackie English, Lamaze event coordinator. “We have turned it into a winter wonderland.”
The 1 million lights take 10 days to set up and a year to plan, English said. This year’s theme is “A Fairytale Christmas.” She said Pittsburgh was chosen because it’s a community-driven town.
“We are bringing Christmas magic to Pittsburgh,” she said.
Throughout the displays are several that lend themselves to photo opportunities from lit-up picture frames to benches inside a carriage or lights formed in the words of LOVE and JOY.
English said she hopes to make it an annual event. As a way to be available to everyone, she said they are donating tickets to families in need.
There is a gingerbread play area and a magical forest, bouncy reindeer for kids to sit on, as well as a giant Lite Bright, a light box with plastic pegs you can use to make a picture.
Illuminated swings are there for riding. A train will take children throughout the display area. Photos with Santa Claus are free, although donations for charity are accepted.
Alyssa Falarski, production and property manager for 31st Street Studios, which mostly handles film production, plans to bring her toddler.
“They have something for every age,” she said. “It is more interactive than other light displays. We are thrilled to have them here. It will be a great event for the city. From my own visual experience it’s a beautiful display.”
From sketches on paper to bright structures, watch it all come to life as we take you behind the scenes into the planning of Lumaze!
— Lumaze Pittsburgh (@Lumaze_PA) November 19, 2019
There will be music, food, a bar and a market area. A pop-up shopping center features local boutique shops with everything from home décor and accessories to handmade clothing, beauty, skincare and wellness products.
An adjacent market “Festival of Lights” by the Steel City Craft Emporium in front of the 31st Street Studios will offer anyone who brings in a Lumaze ticket within seven days a 10% discount.
“I am so excited to be part of this first, hopefully annual holiday festival as a market vendor,” said Fran Sissel Wyner of Monroeville, who showcase her photography.
Lumaze tickets start at $19.99 for adults and $14.99 for children. Children 3 and under are free.
Doors open at 4 p.m. Saturday. Former Pittsburgh Penguins players Brian Trottier, Tyler Kennedy and Colby Armstrong will make special guest appearances on opening night. Beginning Dec. 13, Lumaze will offer weekly date nights from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, for adults to wander around the light gardens and sample seasonal food and beverages.
Lumaze will run on weekends and select weekdays through Jan. 4. Parking is available on site and adjacent to the venue for $20. Shuttles will also be available.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, [email protected] or via Twitter .