City Of Poughkeepsie » Events » The 26th Annual Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks

The 26th Annual Celebration of Lights Parade & Fireworks

Image of Celebration of Lights

Friday, DECEMBER 6 at 6:30pm (and it’s First Friday too!)

After the parade and fireworks…SANDLOT (1993) on the Bardavon’s big screen at 8pm

(Poughkeepsie, NY) On Friday, December 6 at 6:30pm the Bardavon and City of Poughkeepsie, County of Dutchess, Poughkeepsie River District Business Association and Cocoon Theatre, with support from Nuvance Health, Rhinebeck Bank and TD Bank Foundation present the 26th annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks! This event kicks off the holiday season in Poughkeepsie as thousands attend.

The parade will commence at 6:30pm on Main Street and Garden Street and proceed to the evening’s first Christmas tree lighting on Main, near Market Street. The Celebration of Lights Parade is led by Mayor Rob Rolison and members of the Common Council and will be joined by the Amerscott Highland Pipers, Red Wing Black Bird Theater, Poughkeepsie High School Jazz Ensemble, Spackenkill High School Marching Band, Brasskill marching band, McClearns Majoretts  Dutchess Jeep & Dodge with Mid-Hudson Rowing Association, Vassar Warner Home float, Red Knights Motorcycle Club, Roaring Thunder Car Club, Arlington Auto and Tire. Also joining in the parade will be performances by Arm of the Sea Theatre, Vanaver Caravan and the Nego Gato African Drumming & Dance with 200 children from Warring, Morse, Clinton and Kreiger elementary schools. Finally Santa Claus will arrive on a City of Poughkeepsie Fire Engine.

Float Replica of Vassar Brothers Institute
Float Replica of Vassar Brothers Institute

BRAND NEW in the PARADE: In 2017 Cocoon Theatre artistic director Andres San Millan created a float replica of Vassar Brothers Institute on 12 Vassar St., measuring 29 feet long, 13 feet high and 12 feet wide. In 2018 Andres added a float replica of the Steamboat Mary Powell! And this year he will include a float replica of the 1911 Pelton mansion. Costumes and props created with volunteers and the people of the Arc of Dutchess will accompany the floats. In addition local artist Suprina will unveil a painted City sanitation truck!

The parade will proceed down Main Street to Clover Street where the parade 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 area’s only winter fireworks display.

Sandlot (1993)
Sandlot (1993)

Following the parade and fireworks, the Bardavon will present a screening of the family film classic Sandlot (1993) at 8pm. An American coming-of-age comedy film co-written, directed, and narrated by David Mickey Evans which tells the story of a group of young baseball players during the summer of 1962. The film is preceded at 7:30pm with a concert on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. seats $6. This holiday film event is sponsored by Marshall & Sterling.

Sponsors include: Nuvance Health, TD Bank Foundation, Rhinebeck Bank, Dutchess Dodge/Kia, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union,  Adams Fairacre Farms, Dorsey Gage, Bonura Hospitality Group.  WPDH/WRRV/, WDST, WKZE, Pamal, Clear Channel, The City of Poughkeepsie PBA &CSCA, Dutchess Beer Distributors, McCabe & Mack, Hodgkins Agency, Prime Retirement Asset Management, Riverside Bank and Torsone’s Funeral Home and Marshall & Sterling Insurance.

And underwriting the Vassar Brothers Institute and Steamboat Mary Powell floats: Jason Page, Williams Lumber, Prime Print, Dutchess Metal, River District Business Association, TERN Construction, Mike Haggerty, Alan Page, CF Shoe Repair, Mark Pastreich, Indotronix Investors Corporation, Hudson Valley Office Furniture, Shatzi’s, El Azteca Restaurant, Get Real Surfaces, MHVFCU and Alfred Torrigliani from construction Services.

Parking is readily available in City of Poughkeepsie Municipal lots. For further info check out the Bardavon web site at or call the Bardavon at (845) 473-2072.

Parade Route

Line- Up: Please arrive between 5:30 pm and 6 pm*

If you are lining up as parade members, whether marching or with a vehicle/float, please enter the City of Poughkeepsie Municipal Lot service road on Crannell Street through the entrance on North Hamilton Street. You can then pull your vehicle off to the right side of the road (facing Catherine Street) or you can park in the lot itself.  There will be staff on-site to direct you to the proper location.

Parade Start time:  We will be stepping off at exactly 6:30PM.

Parking: Please park in any City of Poughkeepsie Municipal Lot. Please do not park in private lots or you will be towed.

Parade Route: Main Street to first tree lighting at Barney Building Lot (farmers market), continue on past arterial down Main Street right onto North Clover Street to Dongan Square Park, across from Noah’s Ark and Café Aurora for a second tree lighting.  As each group arrives, at the second tree there will be time allotted for a quick demonstration for each performance group.  

Fireworks:   Immediately following the second tree lighting there will be a fireworks display.  Time approx. 7:15 PM.  They may start later depending on the size of the parade and lengths of the demonstrations.