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Pittsburgh Officials Preparing For Bicentennial Celebration

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh is getting ready to celebrate its 200th birthday.

There are all kinds of events planned for the Bicentennial this weekend, and at a time when security is at the top of everyone's mind, city officials are making preparations to keep people safe.

Whether it's the fireworks in Point State Park on Saturday night, the parade or the events in Market Square, police have plans, but they're keeping them close to the vest.

The Stanley Cup Parade so clearly illustrated Pittsburgh's love of celebrating and parades, but that was before the incident downtown after the fireworks on Monday, Thursday's stabbing in Market Square, and Dallas.


"We can't stop being Americans," Mayor Bill Peduto said. "We had similar conversations after September 11, and the best way that we knew how to move on was keeping with the things we do on a regular basis."

So as the Heinz History Center took delivery on Pittsburgh's 200th birthday cake Friday, City Public Safety leaders were meeting to come up with a plan for Saturday.

"There will be a police presence, not only for the parade, but also for the fireworks show as well and afterwards," Pittsburgh chief of operations Guy Costa said.

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Expect to see state, city and other police around as you settle in for Saturday morning's parade.

"We determined to use Liberty Avenue, beginning at 11th Street, and go straight down Liberty Avenue and then to Point State Park," Costa said.

The parade will be followed by midday local performances in Market Square and a full evening of festivities starting at 6 p.m. in Point State Park.

"We're going to have various performers from the Pittsburgh region performing until 9:30 p.m., and then at 9:30 p.m., we're gonna have a spectacular fireworks show," Costa said.

But the festivities actually get rolling Friday night at the Heinz History Center, where finishing touches were being made on the aforementioned cake and on a new display.

"We're unveiling a sneak peek of our new exhibit called Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation," Heinz History Center spokesman Ned Schano said. "And that celebrates the 200-year history of Pittsburgh, all the great inventions, all the great inventors from Pittsburgh, so it's all encompassed here at the History Center."

One thing to remember about Saturday night at the Point: the Pirates are in town playing the Chicago Cubs, and it should be a sell-out. So if you're coming to the Point, don't expect to park on the North Shore.

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