Light Up Night

It’s usually around this time of the year that my workload piles up, and I have so many things going on that it’s difficult to start getting into the holiday spirit. Although I do appreciate Au Bon Pain’s seasonal change in their disposable container designs, it’s really hard to find any other form of celebration for the holiday season on campus. That’s why I always get so excited for Pittsburgh’s annual Light Up Night.

It’s become a tradition for me and my friends to go to Light Up Night and see all the wonderful decorations and festivities put on by the city. From the big concerts to the fireworks, my friends and I would always do our best to hit up the night’s main events. However, this year we decided to do things a little differently. We started the night with dinner at Talia Cucina & Rosticceria, which we had to book reservations for way in advance, because usually most of the restaurants downtown get fully booked during Light Up Night. They served some delicious Italian food, and the atmosphere was so comfortable and festive, with families, dates, and adult friend groups all chatting over candle-lit tables. It was a wonderful place to have dinner during such an exciting and holiday-spirited event.

After dinner, my friends and I went straight to Market Square, which is transformed every year into a little Christmas Village. We went here instead of going to the annual big concert that’s hosted during Light Up Night. This year, A Great Big World was the main performer, and although it would have been cool to see them, my friends and I were craving some sweets and thought the market would have some. In previous years, I never actually took the time to go through the market because usually it’s always so crowded with people. It’s not like this year was any different, but it was really nice to see all the holiday-themed shops, the live performances by some local artists, and Dunkin Donuts’ convenient hot chocolate and munchkin outdoor sale for the hungry and freezing event-goers.

Exploring the Christmas market for the first time was definitely a fun experience for me, especially since it reminded me of the outdoor holiday markets that are organized around where I’m from. From the market, our original plan was to go ice skating and then watch the fireworks. Unfortunately, the lines were extremely long for ice skating, where I think we waited almost two hours; so we never actually made it to see the fireworks (but I don’t think they change drastically from year to year). At least my friends and I got our annual experience of skating around the giant Christmas tree in the center of the rink. Having this quality time to spend with some of my closest friends and start off my holiday festivities was certainly much needed. Best of all, this event marks marks only the beginning of the holiday season, and there’s still so much more to look forward to!