Creche dedication, tree lighting by 5-year-old cancer survivor part of Light Up Night |
Valley News Dispatch

Creche dedication, tree lighting by 5-year-old cancer survivor part of Light Up Night

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Tribune-Review file
People skate around the Christmas tree at PPG Place in Downtown Pittsburgh during the 2014 Light Up Night.

Pittsburgh will kickoff the holiday season with the annual Light Up Night celebration Friday.

Among the ceremonies is a prayer service and dedication of the Pittsburgh Creche in the plaza in front of the U.S. Steel Tower on Grant Street.

The Blessed Trinity Academy Choir and Band will perform at the creche at 11:30 a.m. before the noon prayer service.

The creche will remain up for viewing at the U.S. Steel Tower plaza through Jan. 7, according to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

“Our hope is that tens of thousands of people will return to visit the creche this season and let this larger than life symbol emphasize the true spirit and meaning of Christmas in the greater Pittsburgh area,” the Rev. Msgr. Ronald Lengwin said.

Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Comcast, Light Up Night features several tree lighting ceremonies and a variety of entertainment and food vendors. It will end with Zambelli fireworks synchronized to holiday music launched from the Allegheny River at 10 p.m.

Among the scheduled tree lightings, 5-year-old cancer survivor Madelina Grace Deluca of Moon will light the 65-foot Christmas tree at PPG Place. That program starts at 4:45 p.m., with the tree lighting from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

More than 300 people are expected to be carrying hand-held, glowing tributes surrounding the ice rink at PPG Place as part of the American Cancer Society’s “Tribute of Light” celebration .

Madelina “will be celebrating her own survivorship with others who will honor loved ones who have been affected by cancer,” the cancer society said.

According to the cancer society, Deluca was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when she was 23 months old. After rounds of chemotherapy at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, she has no evidence of the disease.

The celebration will be emceed by Josh Corcoran, creator of Spare Change, a Pittsburgh-based web series documenting local artists who play music to raise money for those in need.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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