Tinseltown: First Night Scranton Returns With Hollywood Theme

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Scranton will roll out the red carpet to welcome the new year.

First Night Scranton will once again keep the city’s downtown abuzz on New Year’s Eve with live music, family-friendly activities and fireworks, and this time it will do so with Hollywood-style flair.

“It’s our 15th anniversary, so I thought, well, you know what? We’ve got to do something big,” said Paige Balitski, one of the event organizers. “What’s bigger than Hollywood? It’s fun. You can play off of movie stars and films.”

The different activities taking place throughout the night will touch on the Hollywood theme, with musicians set to perform movie themes and love songs and other activities drawing inspiration from films. Costumed characters from popular movies will greet guests, for instance, Ms. Baltiski said.

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com/lifestyles/tinseltown-first-night-scranton-returns-with-hollywood-theme-1.1606227

After Brief Uncertainty, Reading Pagoda Fireworks Will Happen On New Year’s Eve

Picture 511A little more than a week after City Council finalized a deal with the Pagoda Foundation to run the Reading landmark, Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer on Thursday afternoon vetoed the agreement.

His move involves money transfers to the foundation, and the move temporarily put the Pagoda’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show into question over liability issues. But after a meeting of foundation members Thursday evening, Chairman Lee C. Olsen said the fireworks will go on.

The foundation has been running the programs at the Pagoda the last two years without an agreement. The group had been asking the city to approve the pact before the New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration, in which the foundation has a part.

Meanwhile, City Council President Francis C. Acosta said he has called for a special meeting of council early next week to override the mayor’s veto.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article/20131220/NEWS/312209955/1052#.UrR4KfRDsxI

Families Flock To Downtown Pittsburgh For Annual Light Up Night Festivities

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They filtered into the city, slowly at first, late on Friday afternoon, some pushing strollers, others holding hands and huddling under umbrellas.

They were determined to celebrate Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.

Before nightfall, the rain stopped, the crowds swelled and Pittsburgh did not disappoint, putting on a show that began with the lighting of eight Christmas trees across Downtown and ending with a fireworks spectacular.

The holiday kickoff got under way early in the afternoon at the courthouse, where Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald lit LED lights installed at the top of the 325-foot tower. A crowd gathered at the corner of Grant Street and Forbes Avenue at noon to watch the tower shine red and green for the first time in its 125-year history.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/5110417-74/christmas-downtown-anna#ixzz2lU4sOBiA
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Pittsburgh’s 53rd Light Up Night Continues Grand Traditions

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 53rd-annual Light Up Night on Nov. 22 will offer an additional performance stage in Mellon Square, another new show in Market Square and a three-block area of Smithfield Street where you can enjoy nostalgic dancing in the street. And the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, returning for its sophomore year Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, will be twice the size of last year’s European-style Christmas market.

Mellon Square will host the new Northwest Savings Bank Stage, where Pittsburgh classic-rock bands The Elliotts and Totally 80s will perform on Light Up Night, overlooking Smithfield Street.

Nearby, at the Macy’s Stage on Smithfield Street, Gloria Gaynor will perform to coordinate with the unveiling of the famous Macy’s windows. And on Smithfield Street, visitors can “Dance Through the Decades” as they enjoy live music from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, along with laser effects and bubble machines.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/4989209-74/market-street-downtown#ixzz2k0I6sLMw 
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Pottstown Residents Want Fireworks For Fourth Of July Celebration

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POTTSTOWN — Historic re-enactments, a mini balloon festival, cook-offs, a beer tent, local musicians and, of course, fireworks.

Lots and lots of fireworks.
Memorial Day has arrived and thus, the unofficial arrival of the summer season.

Thoughts turn to barbecues, swimming pools and, of course, the Fourth of July.

Last month, we asked people for their thoughts on ways to improve, enhance and better fund Pottstown’s signature summer event and we thought the first unofficial day of summer would be a good day to let everyone know what suggestions we received.

Chief among them was a desire for the return of the fireworks.

Lights Go Out On Pottstown July 4th Fireworks

Editor’s note:  This day has been coming for a while now, but it makes the reality no less sad.  

The ax has finally fallen on the Pottstown Fourth of July celebration.

The committee that plans the annual event announced last week that the fireworks have been canceled for this year.  The parade will go on, but most events in Memorial Park including the popular evening fireworks display will not be held.  The decision was made in December because a $30,000 three-year contract with the fireworks company requires early notification and a sizeable deposit of $23,000.

Marcia Levengood and Chip Smale, co-chairs of the planning committee, said the group is hoping to raise $20,000 to stage the parade.  If they can get more, an expanded celebration will be resurrected in 2014.

The news comes after several years of struggle to raise the $60,000 needed for a two-day celebration including a parade and fireworks that has become a tradition in Pottstown since it started 34 years ago.  The celebration has always been funded entirely through community donations, with no tax dollars allocated for the event. In recent years, donations have been hard to come by and slow to come in, creating a last-minute plea each year to keep the celebration afloat.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130225/OPINION01/130229704/lights-go-out-on-pottstown-july-4th-fireworks#full_story

New Year’s Eve Celebrations Abound In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re planning to ring in 2013 on New Year’s Eve Monday, Lancaster County has got you covered:

On tap at the third annual 3…2…1! Lancaster celebration are more than 20 different family-friendly festivities and activities at Clipper Magazine Stadium, 650 N. Prince St., and the Lancaster YMCA, 256 Harrisburg Ave.

The entertainment, which starts at 5 p.m., includes live stage acts, musicians, balloon artists, ice skating, hands-on activities and kids’ crafts.  There will be an early fireworks display for kids of all ages who can’t stay up until midnight.

Ticket prices are $10 in advance and $12 on event day.  Children 3 and under are admitted free.

Night owls can attend a midnight fireworks display and lowering of the Red Rose in Binns Park, 100 N. Queen St.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/797158_New-Year-s-Eve-celebrations-abound-in-county.html#ixzz2GMZsMe5X

First Night Pittsburgh Brings Downtown Alive With More Than 100 Events In 45 Venues

English: Downtown Pittsburgh

English: Downtown Pittsburgh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can ring in the new year at home with Ryan Seacrest — sadly, we lost Dick Clark this year — or you can join the crowd at one of the city’s most festive celebrations, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh.

As Stefon would say on “Saturday Night Live,” it has everything: Bollywood dancers, Japanese sword dancers, rockers, hip-hoppers, puppet paraders, treasure mappers, unicycling jugglers, human pinatas — no, not really pinatas, but that’s about all it doesn’t have.

It begins at 6 p.m. Monday with a Dollar Bank Children’s Fireworks Display and a performance by Adam Brock & The Soul Band on the Dollar Bank Stage at Seventh Street and Penn Avenue.

The evening concludes with a performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, a New Orleans jazz/R&B institution since 1977, and then the Countdown to Midnight and Future of Pittsburgh Grand Finale atop Penn Avenue Place and Fifth Avenue Place.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/first-night-pittsburgh-brings-downtown-alive-with-more-than-100-events-in-45-venues-667932/#ixzz2GIiKJiQF

Annual First Night Celebrates City’s Diversity New Year’s Eve In Downtown Scranton

picture-0571The tradition of kicking off the new year with a bang – not to mention a little music, magic and more – remains alive and well in the Electric City.

For the 14th consecutive year, First Night Scranton will draw visitors to the city’s downtown, where a slew of venues will host activities and live performances on New Year’s Eve.

This year’s family-friendly event will bring attention to Scranton’s diversity through the theme “New Year’s Eve Around the World.”

“What we kind of focused on was how the ethnicity of the city is evolving and changing,” First Night project director Paige Balitski said.  “And we thought, you know, we should revisit what ethnicities were in the beginning of Scranton and what it’s changing into and adding to all of that.”

Read more:  http://thetimes-tribune.com/lifestyles-people/annual-first-night-celebrates-city-s-diversity-new-year-s-eve-in-downtown-scranton-1.1421404

Pittsburgh Ready To Light Up The Night

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its nei...

A map of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with its neighborhoods labeled. For use primarily in the list of Pittsburgh neighborhoods. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pittsburgh police are hoping Light Up Night revelers will avoid the buzz kill of a parking ticket or trip to the tow pound.

They are recommending extra caution tonight for those who drive to the festivities.  Because several parking meters have been removed and replaced with kiosks, the temporary “no parking” signs might not be as in-your-face as when they were attached to each meter.  They recommend that visitors park in lots or garages rather than on the streets.

As an added precaution, they are urging visitors not to leave valuables like iPods, laptops or GPS devices within sight in their vehicles.

“The holiday season is upon us and there are predators who seek the opportunity to vandalize vehicles when they observe unsecured valuables left in plain view,” said police spokeswoman Diane Richard.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/city-ready-to-light-up-the-night-662359/#ixzz2CP2kXJyz

More Light Up Night info here:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/downtown-will-be-packed-again-for-light-up-weekend-662083/

Bells Peal Across Britain On Olympic Games Opening Day

LONDON, July 27 (Reuters) – Bells rang across Britain on Friday to signal the final countdown to the Olympic Games, which open with an exuberant and eccentric ceremony celebrating the nation in an explosion of dance, music and fireworks inspired by Shakespeare’s “Tempest”.

The three-hour showcase created by Oscar-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle takes spectators on a journey from Britain’s idyllic countryside through the grime of the Industrial Revolution and ending in an explosion of pop culture.

Watched by 60,000 people at the main Olympic stadium built in a run-down part of east London and a global audience of more than a billion, the event will have passages described by British Prime Minister David Cameron as “spine-tingling”.

The spectators will be urged to join in sing-a-longs and help create spectacular visual scenes at an event that sets the tone for the sporting extravaganza, when 16,000 athletes from 204 countries share the thrill of victory and despair of defeat with 11 million visitors.

Read more: http://london-games.reuters.com/london-olympics-2012/articles/football/mens-100m/2012/07/26/all-eyes-london-and-spectacular-games-opening

Pottstown’s Fourth Of July Event Schedule

This year the 4th of July activities span three days starting Monday evening, July 2nd and culminating with the fireworks display on Wednesday, July 4th at 10:00pm!

Click here to see the entire three day schedule of events:http://pottstown4th.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/july-4th-2012-schedule.pdf

Streets Closing In Preparation For Celebrate Lancaster

The 14th annual Celebrate Lancaster kicks off this morning with the opening of about two dozen food stands and the closure of North Prince Street from Penn Square to Lancaster Square.

Thousands of people are expected to pack the streets throughout the day to sample the local fare and dance to the sounds of bluegrass, Latino music, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll.

The event will culminate with a large fireworks display that begins at 10 p.m.

Admission is free.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/674460_Streets-closing-in-preparation-for–Celebrate-Lancaster.html#ixzz1yXDvEhq3

Phoenixville Raises Property Taxes, Adds Per Capita Tax And Scraps July 4th Fireworks

Molly Maguires Pub and Restaurant in Phoenixvi...

Image via Wikipedia

Phoenixville Borough Council has passed a 2011 budget with a 9.9% property tax increase.  No police officers were laid-off but there were 5 casualties in other departments. Raises for borough employees are not happening in 2011 and employee health insurance co-pays were increased.

Council is bringing back a per capita tax (eliminated more than 10 years ago) which will amount to $10.00 for each borough resident over 18 years of age.

The budget vote was deadlocked at 4-4 but Mayor Scoda voted “yes” to break the deadlock and pass the budget.

Phoenixville residents are also looking at increases in sanitation fees, water rates and sewer rates.  In addition, Council removed fireworks funding for the Fourth of July celebration in the borough from the 2011 budget.