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Places to go, things to do

December 30, 2011
The Herald-Star

Steelers' trophies at Carnegie Center

PITTSBURGH-Steelers Nation is invited to Carnegie Science Center to see all six of the Steelers' Super Bowl trophies through Sunday.

As the Steelers approach playoff season in hopes of bringing home a seventh Lombardi Trophy, Steelers fans of all ages can bask in the glory of their team's six Super Bowl wins, from the 1975 victory that began the dynasty, to their 2009 triumph.

Viewing the trophies is free with general admission to the Science Center - $17.95 for adults, $11.95 for children and free for members of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Science Center is at 1 Allegheny Ave. on Pittsburgh's North Shore next to Heinz Field. Visit, or call (412) 237-3400 for information.

Messfest at Carnegie Science Center

PITTSBURGH -Carnegie Science Center is breaking out its messiest, sloppiest, grossest activities for a one-of-a-kind celebration guaranteed to kick off 2012 with a plop, splash, squish and fizz with its sixth-annual MessFest on Sunday.

MessFest features a variety of exciting, hands-on activities available only once a year. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visitors will have the chance to get slimy with oobleck, a gooey substance that feels solid when picked up, but then slips through the fingers like a liquid. The egg drop activity invites visitors to encase a raw egg in various packing materials, then to drop it over the outdoor railing to see whether it breaks. Kids can make Steelers noisemakers, become messy artists with finger painting, create their own Mars soil as they explore the characteristics of the Red Planet's "dirt," make sidewalk chalk out of plaster of paris and tempera paint and compete in a pie-eating contest.

In addition to a messy load of hands-on activity tables, visitors also can experience the science center's most explosive, high-energy and grossly entertaining theater programs. Plant Pop Extreme will be held in the Kitchen Theater, and MessFest Challenge in the Works Theater will combine a family trivia game with messy physical challenges and some explosive fun.

MessFest 2012 activities are included with general admission to the Science Center: $17.95 for adults, $11.95 for children ages 3-12, and free for children younger than 3 and members of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.

Servicemen and women invited to the Senator John Heinz History Center

PITTSBURGH - The Senator John Heinz History Center will honor U.S. servicemen and women serving overseas this holiday season with four special flag-folding ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. today and Friday.

Members of Operation Troop Appreciation, the 28th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard and the 171st Air National Guard will join local U.S. veterans and history center visitors throughout the week to help fold a giant 36-foot American flag in the History Center's first floor great hall.

Visitors and veterans also will sign a special thank-you wall that will be shipped to U.S. troops serving overseas.

Additionally, all U.S. veterans and current servicemen and women and one guest will receive free admission to the history center for the event.

All visitors are encouraged to tour the history center's new exhibition, Stars & Stripes: An American Story, which details the stories of the people behind the more than 200-year history of the American flag.

Dance Workshop with Whitney Thompson

WHEELING -Oglebay Institute's School of Dance will offer a special workshop covering ballet and jazz with Whitney Thompson Monday at the dance studios.

Thompson is a 2011 graduate of the OI School of Dance and has trained with David Howard, Ronnie Demarco, Luigi, Heather Hawk, Lorraine Graves and Christopher Huggins. She has participated in dance intensives at the Ballet Met and American Ballet Theater in Detroit and performed in local productions of "Copelia," "Peter Pan," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Nutcracker." Currently she is a student at the University of Alabama and member of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre II.

The workshop is available to age groups 8-10 and 11 and older. Ages 8-10 will meet from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at $20 per student. Ages 11 and older will meet from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at $25 per student.

To register, call (304) 242-7700.

The School of Dance is behind the Stifel Fine Arts Center at 1330 National Road in Wheeling.

Kennywood announces new ride for 2012

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. Something wicked is coming to Kennywood Park, as the Black Widow is introduced as the park's newest ride for 2012.

The Black Widow experience starts with riders sitting in outward-facing suspended seats that form a giant circle with a total of 40 riders. With legs dangling freely, each rider is secured with a shoulder restraint. Then the thrill begins. The giant circle begins to swing in a pendulum motion while rotating counterclockwise. At the peak of the swing riders will reach a height of 146 feet above the ground and experience that feeling of weightlessness coveted by thrill seekers.

The counterclockwise rotation and pendulum motion creates a variety of different sensations depending on a rider's specific position. The combination of both elements results in a unique ride experience every time.

Black Widow will stand at 90 feet but will reach a height of 146 feet in full swing with an angle of 120 degrees from the center. The pendulum motion propels riders back and forth at 68 miles per hour. Black Widow will have a height requirement of 52 inches tall. Each of the 40 seats has an individual shoulder lap restraint.

Kennywood season passes are now on sale at $84.99. For information, go to

'The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs' at Byham

Theater, Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, in association with the Andy Warhol Museum's 2012 performance series, Off the Wall, presents Mike Daisey's "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" at the Byham Theater at 8 p.m. Jan. 21.

Created and performed by Mike Daisey and directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" dives into the epic story of Steve Jobs and Apple Corp. Daisey examines how Jobs' obsessions profoundly shaped our lives and recounts Jobs' journey to China to investigate the factories where millions are employed making iPhones and iPods. This presentation in Pittsburgh by Daisey is one of only a few select cities around the country on his tour.

Tickets are $18-$35 and may be purchased at the box office at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave.; online at; or by calling (412) 456-6666.

The Word of God exhibit at Andy Warhol Museum

PITTSBURGH - The Word of God: Jeffrey Vallance will feature Vallance's creations of religious-inspired artwork currently running at the Andy Warhol Museum through Feb. 5.

Artist Jeffrey Vallance creates objects, installations, performance and curatorial works. Some of his past projects have included traveling throughout Polynesia in search of the origin of the myth of Tiki; creating a Richard Nixon Museum; and traveling to the Vatican, Turin and Italy to study Christian relics.

It is Vallance's interest in the relics and religion that brings his work to the Word of God exhibition series. Featured in the exhibition are Valence's the Vallance Bible, Jesus Exegesis; Three Beatific Visions; and the Gospel According to Jeffery. These series of writings are based on Vallance's personal experiences, spiritual upbringing and studies. The exhibition also will include a selection of his reliquary objects.

Vallance has a vast historical and cultural knowledge of the tradition of relics. Raised as a Lutheran, he was taught how such objects were inventions for "silly folk," but today believes differently.

"They are among the most beautiful and wondrous art objects created by humankind," added Vallance.

His reliquaries, like Warhol's Time Capsules, store and revere mementos of travel, superstars, products and kitsch; from the plastic animals excavated from his backyard as a child in 1958 to the Vallance family Lutheran Catechism or a tuft of green shag carpet from Elvis Presley's house in Graceland.

Located in Pittsburgh, the place of Andy Warhol's birth, the Warhol is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world. The Andy Warhol Museum is one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. For information, go to or call (412) 237-8300.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays; and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays. The museum is closed Mondays.

Admission is free for members; $15 for adults; $9 for seniors; and $8 for children and students.

Seven Springs Resort focusing on snowboarding

SEVEN SPRINGS - Changing the game of urban snowboarding, Seven Springs Mountain Resort is proud to present the Streets at Seven Springs - a park dedicated to urban snowboarding, featuring an on-mountain replica of urban riding at its best.

Pulling inspiration from the surrounding area of Pittsburgh, the Streets brings a whole new meaning to urban snowboarding.

Urban snowboarding is supposed to be fun and accessible, but when riders can't find the right features the ability to actually enjoy it becomes limited. This is where Seven Springs and the Streets come in. The Streets offers a wide array of rails, ledges, gaps and wall rides, all built with the look and feel of riding in a city.

Since 2004, Seven Springs has been committed to developing and growing its terrain parks. In addition to the existing six parks and more than 70 features, the Streets is to be the most innovative urban setup created. Due to its hard work and dedication toward these efforts, Seven Springs has been nationally recognized as the 2011-12 No. 1 terrain parks on the East Coast.

The grand opening of the Streets is scheduled for Jan. 19. For information, call (800) 452-2223 or go to

Holiday art

show at

Schrader Center

WHEELING -The Holiday Art Show and Sale is open through Saturday at the Schrader Environmental Education Center in Oglebay Resort.

Hand-crafted gifts for the holidays are available for purchase while at the same time supporting local artists and craftsmen. Items include everything from paintings, pottery, stained glass and photography to jewelry, purses, scarves and gourmet goodies in a variety of styles and price ranges.

The Schrader Center is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. For information, call (304) 242-6855.

Second City

comedy coming to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - The Second City, the Chicago comedy troupe that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, will be performing improvisation and sketch comedy in its new show "Laugh Out Loud!" Jan. 5-7 at Pittsburgh Public Theater.

The show features "ripped from the headlines" material, archived classics, musical accompaniment and audience participation. Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Jan. 5-6 and 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Jan. 7. There will be a cash bar and cabaret seatings with tables of four on stage available for $220. Tickets are $15.75 to $48.

To purchase tickets, call (412) 316-1600 or visit

Christmas trees exhibit at Carnegie museum

PITTSBURGH - The Carnegie Museum of Art will display the Carnegie Trees in the Hall of Architecture, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the holiday tradition.

The six 20-foot fresh pine trees, decorated with ornaments handmade by members and friends of the Women's Committee of Carnegie Museum of Art, will be on view through Jan. 12.

This year's trees, with decorations inspired by the theme "Solid Gold: Classics that Endure," will highlight art, culture and science. Included are "King Midas and the Golden Touch" and "Green Eggs and Ham," organized by the Women's Committee. Another tree, themed "Tracking Nature Bird by Bird," is decorated by the committee in conjunction with Carnegie Museum of Natural History, whose bird migration research program at Powdermill Reserve also is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Andy Warhol Museum is decorating a tree titled "Super Pop! Pow! Bang!," which celebrates comic book art. A tree showcasing classic holiday treats is organized by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Special Services Department.

Holiday light show at Pittsburgh Technological Institute

PITTSBURGH - The Pittsburgh Technological Institute's Smart Building Technology and Electronics Engineering Technology students and faculty have turned the McKee Road campus into a synchronized holiday light and music show from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 6.

Students and faculty developed a proposal to turn the 2,500-square-foot campus pavilion into a three-dimensional holiday light show integrated with more than 20 holiday songs and 10,000 sequenced lights. Visitors will be able to tune into their FM radio to enjoy the show from inside their cars.

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