Poughkeepsie Crowds Enjoy Celebration of Lights

POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie teamed with several stakeholders, including the Poughkeepsie River District Business Association to bring back the annual “Celebration of Lights” holiday tree lighting and fireworks. Friday night’s event drew a substantial crowd that lined the streets for the length of the parade.

The event began with a tree lighting at Mural Square Park near Main and Market Streets, followed by a parade down Main Street, and ending at Dongan Square Park, where Mayor Rob Rolison and Santa Claus lit the second tree while a fireworks display lit up the sky in the background. The business association financed the pyrotechnics.

Mike Reed, owner of Noah’s Ark, across from Dongan Square, is a longtime member of the group, and was pleased with the turnout. “This city has suffered through a pandemic and this celebration brought people out for a great event,” he said. “Given tonight’s turnout, I think we are rebounding, which is good news for the city and the business district members.”

The celebration included Karen Scivolette-Johnson singing festive holiday songs as the crowd at Dongan Square awaited Santa. As the Poughkeepsie Fire Department arrived with Santa in Tower-Ladder 2, Rolison was there to help the jolly elf to the podium to lead the crowd in a countdown to lighting the tree. “Poughkeepsie really needed this celebration,” he said. “We have been through a lot over the last two years.”

The exuberant mayor noted that, for safety reasons, the parade had more floats from community partners and fewer marchers. “The parade has grown tremendously and I couldn’t be happier,” he proclaimed. “The community turned out and our city workers, including DPW, fire department, police, and everyone else did an amazing job to make this a huge success.”

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