Holidays

Essential Pittsburgh
2:09 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Untold Stories behind Holiday Songs

Credit Pamla J. Eisenberg / Flickr

From “Jingle Bells” to “White Christmas,” many of our most popular holiday songs have interesting stories behind them. Pop culture contributor Joe Wos tells us the stories behind some of our favorite holiday songs.

Wos singles out “Jingle Bells” as possibly the first Christmas pop song. Originally intended as a Thanksgiving song, “Jingle Bells” became a popular drinking song and ultimately became associated with Christmas.

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Community
3:31 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

PTI Students Learn While Spreading Holiday Cheer

Students at Pittsburgh Technical Institute have once again volunteered to create an hour-long music and light show this holiday season.

It’s the fourth year in a row that the college’s School of Energy and Electronics Technology has produced the show.

Dave Becker, academic chair for the Smart Building Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology, said students are excited to see people enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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Specials
3:26 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Programming

Join us Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th for special programs.

Thursday 9am to 11am and 8pm to 10pm: Third Coast International Audio Festival Best of the Best 2014 It is a Thanksgiving tradition here at 90.5 WESA to start your day cooking listening to this year's most amazing stories from around the world. Best of the Best presents the winners of their 14th annual TC / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Innovative and insightful, the stories will engage, provoke, entertain, and transport listeners, proving that all you need to discover new worlds is . . . a little box and an antenna. 

From 11am to 1pm, it’s The Splendid Table’s Turkey Confidential, their annual live call-in show helping you get ready for the big meal. We'll be playing bingo in the control room. Play along with us!

At 1pm sample our new Sunday evenings at 7pm program, Snap Judgment.
Tis the season to consider those things that we are most thankful for. We're taking a look back on some of the stories we've done that touch on this theme of gratitude, because we are so thankful.

Friday at noon & 8pm we bring you Innovation Hub “Unwrapping the Future”. Innovation Hub looks at how innovations are reshaping our holidays — altering approaches to travel, family gatherings, food, and more.

 

Essential Pittsburgh
2:57 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

The Annual People's Gas Holiday Market Returns to Market Square

Credit John Altdorfer

Vendors from around the world have returned for the 3rd People's Gas Holiday Market in Market Square. 

What draws them to the Steel City? We'll pose that question to Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Vice President of Marketing and Communications Leigh White and holiday market vendor, Louise Larkin Manager of the Kathe Wohlfahrt Shop.

Public Safety
6:45 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

Police to Ramp Up Seat Belt and DUI Enforcement for Holidays

Saturday’s icy road conditions, which may have contributed to car accidents on I-79, Bigelow Boulevard, Route 28 and other area roadways, were an unnerving reminder that more auto crashes occur during the holidays than any other time of year.

During last year’s Thanksgiving travel period, from the weekend before Thanksgiving to the weekend after, a total of 4,683 crashes and 48 fatalities occurred statewide.

“Vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death, with most fatalities being attributed to unbelted motorists,” said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. 

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Holiday Parking
4:25 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

T'is the Season for Free Parking in Pittsburgh

With the holiday season approaching, the Pittsburgh Parking Authority has voted to give the gift of free parking again.

During a board meeting Thursday, the Parking Authority board voted unanimously in favor to expand free parking to their surface lots on Saturday, November 29th. 

“We…are joining the city and their efforts to promote Small Business Saturday with free parking at all the meter(s) on both the street – the city has done – and the Parking Authority is going to do free parking at surface lots,” David Onorato, Executive Director, said.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:37 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Planning for the Holidays with Elaine Labalme

Credit Flickr user Dale Beckett

While you may not want to think about it, the holidays will soon be upon us. If you’re thinking of getting away, now is the time to book your holiday travel plans. Contributor Elaine Labalme who tweets about food and travel under the twitter handle New Girl in Town, joins us to offer some pre-Thanksgiving and Christmas travel tips.

According to Labalme, if you’re planning to travel this holiday season, it’s important to plan and book early. People who are looking for snow should keep in mind that large ski resorts tend to get busy, so a smaller ski resort may be a better choice. The key to enjoying a holiday vacation, Labalme notes, is being grateful to get away.

Community
9:30 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Coming to Pittsburgh This Fall: Zombies, Craft Beer and Much More

There are still five weeks left before summer is over, but Pittsburgh is already gearing up for the holiday season and many more events throughout 2015 with zombies, quartets and craft beers.  

With Halloween not far off, nationally-recognized Scarehouse is amping up the Zombies.  Scarehouse is using their 100-year-old building, former "Elks Lodge No. 932" which is alleged haunted and taking the building back to the 30’s with props from the era.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:08 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

From Politics to Consumerism, The Business of Mother's Day

Credit Etsy ketsy / flickr

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Woodrow Wilson’s presidential decree that made Mother’s Day a national holiday, and in that time it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending in the United States and around the globe.

Business contributor Rebecca Harris points out that Mother’s Day was not always about gift-giving. 

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Economy & Business
3:30 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Retailers Hope to Turn Christmas Sales Blues into Green

Retailers in the Pittsburgh region have their fingers crossed that business will pick up in the days leading to the New Year after disappointing sales figures leading up to Christmas.

“After Christmas sales are going to be extremely important to retailers because the holiday season wasn’t as strong as they hoped, and as a result, they want to get us in the stores and keep us there spending money,” said Duquesne University marketing professor Audrey Guskey.

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Health
3:30 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Seasonal and Holiday Depression a Real Concern This Time of Year

This is often called “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for many it’s one of the toughest times of the year, thanks to depression. There are several types of depression, including major depressive disorder, or what is more commonly known as clinical depression.

“It’s a mood state that lasts for an extended period of time and to a degree of severity that really interferes with a person’s usual functioning,” said Edward Friedman, a psychiatrist with UPMC. “That’s kind of different from holiday blues or seasonal blues.”

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Transportation
3:30 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Over the River and Through the Woods: Holiday Travel Season Expected to be Busiest on Record

Approximately 94.5 million Americans are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home this week for the Christmas and New Year holidays, according to AAA East Central. That’s a half a million more travelers than the Christmas travel season last year and the highest number ever recorded for the season.

“The Mid-Atlantic region there’s expected to 10.5 million travelers and most of those will be driving,” said AAA East Central’s Bevi Powell. “There will be about 9.49 million drivers on the road. The Mid-Atlantic region includes New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:37 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Black and White Festival Focuses on Holiday Diversity

Mark Clayton Southers is the founder of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company and the Black and White Festival. The festival is playing until December 17 in the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre.
Credit Mark Clayton Southers

A decade ago, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre embarked on a yearly event called the Theater Festival in Black and White, which pairs black directors with white playwrights and vice versa.

These one-act holiday plays offer an opportunity for local theater artists from different backgrounds to work together in a professional environment. Pittsburgh Playwrights founder Mark Clayton Southers and Managing Director Eric Smith have been working very closely with the Black and White Festival.

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Community
11:41 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Handmade Arcade Celebrates 10 Years

Last year's Handmade Arcade drew more than 9,000 shoppers.
Credit Joey Kennedy / Handmade Arcade

Shoppers will spend the next few weeks looking for the perfect holiday gifts for the special people in their lives.

For the 10th year in a row, the Handmade Arcade is offering Pittsburghers the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind, handmade gifts at their annual event on Saturday.

Jennifer Baron is one of the co-organizers of the craft fair, and said the Handmade Arcade can provide shoppers a respite from the fatigue of Black Friday.

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Essential Pittsburgh
6:29 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Everlasting Holiday Television Classics with Joe Wos

The soundtrack of A Charlie Brown Christmas was a daring endeavor for CBS and Vince Guaraldi
Credit Guaraldi / Wikipedia


A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas are holiday television staples.

They are aired every single year despite being filmed several decades ago. So why do they still endure?

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Community
2:11 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Find Your Community's Ornament on the County's Holiday Tree

In addition to the colorful globes that normally decorate Allegheny County’s official holiday tree, nearly 100 ornaments created by local school districts have been added the tree's branches.
Ryan Loew 90.5 WESA

Visitors to the Allegheny County Courthouse this holiday season will see a few new festive embellishments. 

Along with the colorful globes that normally adorn the county’s official tree, nearly 100 ornaments created by local school districts have been added to the boughs. 

Every district in the county was invited to use recycled scrap material to create an ornament representing the district itself and one for each of the communities within its borders.

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New to the 'Burgh
12:27 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

6 Ways to Have Fun This Winter in Pittsburgh

In its 53rd year, Light Up Night features eight different tree lighting ceremonies, a lights show, world-class jazz music and much more.
Credit 2011 photo courtesy Flickr user jiuguangw

The winter season in Pittsburgh offers plenty of opportunities to discover the city — or, for you native Pittsburghers — to remember why you love your city. Here’s our rundown of seasonal festivities to get you out the door and fill you with holiday spirit.

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