Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says people should not be afraid to come downtown for the First Night celebrations. In an effort to set aside some public concerns that big events in downtown Pittsburgh are no longer safe, Mayor Ravenstahl says there will be beefed up patrols in the golden triangle New Year’s Eve. He says the gunfire during Light Up Night was an isolated event. “We, as a city, can’t let a few idiots get in the way of a wonderful event,” says Ravenstahl, ”We are determined from a police department prospective and a public safety prospective not to let that happen.”
Ravenstahl says there will be additional officers downtown and they will be keeping an eye out for groups of people like those that gathered on light up night and eventually caused problems. “What I can tell the people of Pittsburgh today is you will be safe, come downtown experience this wonderful event and you should not let a few bad apples ruin your experience with your family on this New Year’s holiday,” says Ravenstahl.
First night usually draws about 35 thousand revelers. The Cultural Trust says there could be another 20-30 thousand on the streets December 31st thanks an influx of visitors in town for the winter classic hockey game on the north shore the next day. Visit Pittsburgh says every hotel room downtown is booked for New Year’s Eve.