Weekend gospel music festival planned

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Tourism is partnering with Arts Mid-Hudson to bring a weekend gospel music festival to Poughkeepsie in early 2020.

Dutchess Tourism’s President Mark Kay Vrba stood with County Executive Marcus Molinaro and Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison at the Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center last week to announce the event called “Ain’t That Good News” which will be held February 21-23 in Poughkeepsie.

The event will honor the cultural and spiritual impact the gospel music genre has had on the world. Three City of Poughkeepsie venues will welcome attendees to the first-time festival. Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center and Changepoint Theater will host a series of workshops throughout the weekend, and Majed J. Nesheiwat Convention Center will host multiple headliner concert performances from Everett Drake, Pastor Edwrin Sutton and the Livingstone College Gospel Choir, with others to be announced. The event will also feature vendors selling choir-related merchandise, concert apparel and formal wear.

Mayor Rob Rolison said that the festival is “yet another example of Poughkeepsie becoming an attractive destination for the arts community.”  “Events like this show that Poughkeepsie is on the go and the Gospel Festival is going to be great for our community” according to the mayor.

“The efforts of Dutchess Tourism, Inc. and Arts Mid-Hudson continue to improve the quality of life for residents and attract visitors to Dutchess County,” said County Executive Marcus Molinaro. “The Hudson Valley Gospel Festival is a perfect example of the partnership and collaboration between these two organizations. They are constantly innovating to enrich our arts scene which, in turn, increases the important impact tourism has on our economy.”

Vrba said according to their visitor profile survey, conducted in 2018, events such concerts and festivals are one of the top five reasons for a leisure trip to Dutchess County. She said respondents also listed arts and culture as one of the top five important attributes a destination must have when selecting a getaway or vacation. “Hudson Valley Gospel Festival 2020 will attract new visitors to Dutchess and introduce them to our thriving arts scene,” Vrba said.

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