When I first moved to Poughkeepsie over 20 years ago, I not only loved the Celebration of Lights, I totally embraced it. I made thermoses of hot chocolate, walked to the Mt. Carmel area with friends to see the parade and fireworks. Back then there were even horse drawn carriages and ice sculptors. It was bright, festive and a huge community event. Sometimes the businesses were so packed, you had to wait to get in. And it was awesome.

Through the years, the Celebration of Lights continued to be a favorite night of the year for residents of Poughkeepsie and beyond. But it had to take a break because of covid. So, it’s great news that the Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks is a go for 2021. In fact, it’s this Friday night, Dec. 3.

The parade will kick off at 6:30 PM on Main Street and Garden Street and proceed to the evening’s first Christmas tree lighting on Main, at Mural Square near Market Street. The parade will then proceed down Main Street to Clover Street where it will conclude at Dongan Square Park for the second Christmas tree lighting. Then at 7:15, Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and Legion Fireworks will present the fireworks display.

It will all wrap up with a showing of the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life at The Bardavon. In the lobby, Lambe Lambe, a multiple-stage small puppet theatre presentation by Paperheart puppets will precede and follow the film with holiday fun for all ages. If you attend the film at The Bardavon, you will need proof of vaccination. 

Poughkeepsie will be celebrating big time this Friday night, and that’s promising news for the whole community. After all, we have to make up for lost time. It’s a great way to kick off the 2021 holiday season. For more information about this year’s Celebration of Lights, visit The Bardavon website.

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