Holiday season

Sewickley Light Up Night kicks off the festive season

Sewickley’s Bright Night returned on December 3 after a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Judging by the number of people who came, the tradition was certainly missed last year. Sewickley Police estimated that between 7,500 and 8,000 people attended, according to Julie Barnes, Sewickley council member and chair of the committee.

“The committee was really happy with how it all turned out – people were calling it amazing and magical,” Barnes said. “I’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”

The committee with Barnes included Sewickley Mayor George Shannon, Tom Boivin, Stephanie Butler, Susan Kaminski, John Forrest and Meghan Sheridan.

For the first time, the event was a zero waste event, in partnership with Sustainable Sewickley and Pennsylvania Resources Council. Barnes said part of the event was a great success and Public Works noted there was less litter on the streets to clean up after the event than in previous years.

“We want to thank people for being open to disposing of their waste this way,” Barnes said. “It was new; it required an adjustment on the part of people to be careful what they were throwing away and we appreciate people being willing to do that.

The festive evening was much needed, not only for families but also for businesses in the village.

“One of my committee members and I walked around at the end of the night and saw all the restaurants were full, some of the local places like the Tull Family Theater were full – it was so festive and lively,” said Barnes.

Carolina Pais-Baretto Thor, CEO of Tull Family Theatre, said the theater has been involved with Light Up Night since it opened.

“We try to give Light Up Night visitors something fun to do indoors while they warm up,” she said. “This year we were fortunate enough to partner with John Vento & Friends to present a range of musicians sharing acoustic and holiday tunes. This has proven to be a great option for those looking to extend the night after the fire fireworks.

A free hot chocolate bar at the Village Works, live reindeer in the Orr’s Jewelers parking lot, a live nativity scene at St. James Catholic Church, take-out soup at St. Paul’s Luthern Church, and a visit with Santa at the Sweet Market were also the highlights of the night.

Katie Green is the editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Katie at

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