POUGHKEEPSIE – Poughkeepsie Common Councilman Chris Petsas used a portion of his allocated ward money on Wednesday night to bring Santa Claus and a new mural to the city.
Petsas used his allocation of funds, supported by funds from Councilwoman Natasha Cherry, to host a drive-thru “Winter Wonderland” at Pulaski Park on Washington Avenue, beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The event was originally scheduled for both Wednesday and Thursday but a rainy, windy forecast, caused Petsas to cancel the Christmas Eve event.
On Wednesday at the park, Santa and several helpers were positioned on Washington Avenue in front of Pulaski Park to spread cheer and distribute candy canes to all that stopped to see him. “I asked Santa Claus if he could visit the First Ward and help deliver some joy during these unique times,” said Petsas. “The jolly old elf delivered,” he said.
Santa and his helpers were situated on the sidewalk in front of a new “Santa-themed” mural created by renowned muralist Frank Palaia. The mural, which Petsas spent $1,200 to commission, took the artist four days to paint. “The great thing about this incredible mural is that we can store it after the holidays and then use it again, year after year,” said Petsas.
“Poughkeepsie has another great mural that helps the aesthetics of our great city.”
Mayor Rob Rolison stopped by to visit with Santa and the neighborhood children that were at the event. “This is a great way to help people get into the holiday spirit,” said Rolison. “Councilman Petsas has once again worked to boost the spirits of Poughkeepsie.”
Petsas said, “I didn’t do this by myself. I had the support of the administration, Natasha Cherry, great art by Frank Palaia and Danielle Carter, and our DPW crew that helped get the lights on the large tree. This is proof that Poughkeepsie can shine through even the darkest times.”