Plus, cheers to the season with cocktail recipes from local bars.

🐇 Pittsburgh will hop into the new year with giant illuminated rabbits

Plus, cheers to the season with cocktail recipes from local bars.

By Francesca Dabecco

It’s Tuesday, Pittsburgh.

Welcome back to another week of The Incline newsletters. Is it just me or is the winter season zooming right on by? I was so thrilled to make it to Handmade Arcade over the weekend to do some holiday shopping. I’ve been trying to give only locally made presents for a couple of years now, and fortunately, we're not short on incredible local makers, vendors, and crafters here in the ‘Burgh. While I’m relieved to have some gifts crossed off my list, I can’t help but think that we’ll blink and the next thing we know it’ll be 2022.

Speaking of the new year, did you hear about the plans for First Night in Pittsburgh?

There will be live music, fire and ice sculpting acts, dazzling fireworks, and in a special addition for this year, giant inflatable rabbits. These 50-feet-tall illuminated bunnies are taking over the Cultural District and poised to oneup the giant yellow duck Pittsburghers obsessed over in 2013. You can read more about First Night celebration plans here.

Now let’s hop into the rest of today’s news....

What Pittsburgh is talking about


🎄Rockin’ around the PPG tree. | Be sure to tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day (📸: @brentgphoto)

4 things to know today 

🕍 Tree of Life synagogue will receive $6.6 million in state funds for redevelopment. The award will help to “transform the site of the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history into a new place of hope, remembrance, and education,” according to a release by the Wolf administration. (90.5 WESA)

💵 Sixteen Black-led programs across Pittsburgh are receiving $5.4 million in grants from the Heinz Endowments’ newest program called Pittsburgh’s Cultural Treasures. The initiative is an effort to preserve the presence of black arts and culture in our city. The funds will benefit organizations including the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, Afro American Music Institute, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and others. (90.5 WESA)

🎟️ The Theatre of the Oppressed is hoping to make positive change in Pittsburgh through its performance of “H.U.D.” (Housing Under Distress). The stage show is a play about local experiences in housing instability. The production takes place this Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9 and 10, in the Peirce Studio of the Trust Arts Education Center. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

😲 Provision PGH, a restaurant situated inside Federal Galley, stole $41K in tips from its workers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division said that the restaurant violated fair labor standards by requiring workers to share tips to pay managers, supervisors, and other employees. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

4 things to make you smile

🎶 A lineup of Pittsburgh’s most talented performers will take the stage at CELEBRATION!, the 10th Annual Holiday Show by Jason Kendall Productions. It’s taking place this Sunday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 10 p.m. in Wintergarden at PPG Place. Purchase your tickets here to listen to soul, gospel, rock, folk, blues, and more — all benefits will go to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. (TribLIVE)

🍦 A Pittsburgh treasure, Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor, plans on scooping up sweet treats beyond the Strip District. Jeff Hanchar, the cousin of the original Klavon’s owner, will open a franchise in Cleveland, Ohio. Read more about how this 1923 soda fountain and apothecary shop has survived and thrived in this Incline interview authored by our much-missed summer intern, Zoey Angelucci. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🍸 These holiday drink recipes will be making spirits bright all season long. If you don’t want to imbibe out on the “tahn,” don’t fret, you can still make these holiday cocktails from local restaurants at home; options include “Dealing with the in-laws” from The Commoner or “Long Kiss Goodnight” from Kingfly Spirits. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🗓️ ‘Tis the season for festive fun. We’ve got a packed events calendar for the week below, but if you want to plan out the rest of your activities for the month, head to this list of December events not to miss. ➡️ (NEXTPittsburgh)


🍸 Listen to Aria412's James Bond-Themed Concert on Facebook Live(Online)

🎶Groove to the sounds of Hot Tuna and special guest Steve Kimock & Friends at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall (Munhall)

🎉 Join Ketchup City Creative and Alison B for a Stitch & B*tch holiday celebration (Sharpsburg)


🍽️Make connections with artists at SIX x ATE: Fruition Online, the final course of a nomadic art and cuisine series by  Casey Droege Cultural Productions (Online)

🎄 Watch a performance of The Second City, It’s a Wild, Wacky, Wonderful Life at the O’Reilly Theater (Downtown)


✨ Be dazzled by the Christmas Lights Kickoff at Mansions on Fifth(Shadyside)

🍸 Have a merry good time at Carnegie Museum of Art’s Out of the Office Party (Oakland)

🍜 Enjoy a bowl of comfort from brothmonger paired with wine from Refucilo at a cozy, festive event (Northside)

One more thing…

On Friday, we sent you Vol. 2 of The Incline’s local holiday gift guide, and we’ve got a couple more to add to the list. Here are two book ideas:

🍦 Another gift for the nostalgic yinzer: “Isaly’s Chipped Ham, Klondikes, and Other Tales from Behind the Counter,” is the Heinz History Center’s newest book by award-winning author Brian Butko. With more than 400 historic images and accompanying stories, readers can learn how the company went from operating with horse-drawn milk wagons to becoming the world’s largest dairy store chain. It’ll set you back $19.95.

📗 For the conscious community member: Who doesn’t appreciate a thoughtful coffee table book? You can support the mission of 412 Food Rescue with the organization’s new book, “Love is #FREE: 100 Food Rescue Hero Stories to Inspire,” a collection celebrating volunteers who have helped to redistribute nearly 20 million pounds of food since the beginning of 412 Food Rescue. The volunteer portraits were captured by photographer Chancelor Humphrey, creator of Keep Pittsburgh Dope. Baron Batch created the cover and art throughout the book, and Veronica Corpuz wrote an original poem, “Ode to 100 Heroes,” for the project. It costs $45 to $60 depending on if you choose a hard or soft cover.

See yinz back here tomorrow,

— Francesca at The Incline

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