Celebration of Lights parade returns after a two-year pause

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POUGHKEEPSIE – Mayor Rob Rolison has announced that the 27th annual Celebration of Lights parade and fireworks are returning this year after a two-year wait.  The popular kickoff to the holiday season is taking place on Friday, December 3, at 6:30 p.m.

The parade, led by the mayor and members of the common council, will start at 6:30 p.m. on Main and Garden streets and proceed to the evening’s first Christmas tree lighting on Main at Mural Square near Market Street.

After the Mural Square tree lighting, the parade will proceed down Main Street to Clover Street, where it will conclude at Dongan Square Park for the second Christmas tree lighting. At 7:15 p.m., the Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and Legion Fireworks will present the area’s only winter fireworks display.

Cocoon Theatre artistic director Andres San Millan has created four giant float replicas of Vassar Brothers Institute, the Steamboat Mary Powell, the 1911 Pelton Mansion, and new this year, celebrating the power of children to motivate others, the Ruby Bridges Locomotive.  The floats will travel the entire parade route.

Participants in festive costumes with props created with recycled materials will accompany the floats. In addition, local artist Suprina will unveil a new float called Mother Earth created in collaboration with Isabel Velasco Gomez and Guadalupe Rodriguez Ramirez.

Rolison will be joined in the celebration by the Arm of the Sea Theatre’s musicians and giant puppets, Amerscott Highland Pipers, Brasskill Brass Band, Fat Boi’s Brass Band, The Bucket Brigade and The Wholly Brass Band, plus Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, SPOKE Poughkeepsie Bike Club, the Poughkeepsie Library’s Bookmobile and finally, Santa Claus will arrive on a City of Poughkeepsie Fire Engine.

Following the parade and fireworks at 7:30 p.m., the Bardavon will host a concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ followed by a screening of the holiday film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $6 each. This holiday film event is sponsored by Marshall & Sterling.

Parking is available in City Municipal lots. Additional information can be found in “The Buzz,” the City of Poughkeepsie’s digital newsletter, by clicking HERE.