(I apologize ahead of time for the unsteady videos of the parade below. I hope you can still enjoy!)

Last Friday, after a two-year wait, the annual Celebration of Lights Parade and Fireworks returned for its 27th year on December 3rd. And despite being alive for 24 of those 27 years, this year marked the first time that I have attended the celebration. What was I doing all this time?! The entire event was an absolute blast, and it was an honor to get to enjoy it while representing Townsquare Media and WRRV.

Conor Walsh
Conor Walsh
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WRRV and The Wolf were stationed right outside Noah’s Ark, which was in perfect view of Dongan Square Park where they held announcements, played music, and lit the tree, along with being an incredible spot to watch the fireworks through the treeline.

Conor Walsh
Conor Walsh
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The parade commenced at 6:30 pm on Mainstreet and Garden Street and concluded a little past where we were stationed. During the parade, some awesome floats had me in awe. They were replicas of buildings from the Vassar Brothers Institute, the Steamboat Mary Powell, the 1911 Pelton Mansion, and new to this year, the Ruby Bridges Locomotive. I thought they were tremendous. The replicas were built around some car or truck that could be driven down the street, which I thought was impressive. Those four floats were created by Cocoon theatre’s artistic director Andres San Millan.

Besides the floats, there were performers, musicians, local organizations, and more making their way down the main stretch. A few of my favorites had to have been the Amerscot Highland Pipers (I got to support my Celtic roots!), the Arm of the Sea Theatre’s musicians and giant puppets, and the many brass bands they had, including Brasskill Brass Band, Fat Boi’s Brass Band, The Bucket Bridge and The Wholly Brass Band. They all brought something different to the table and blew us all away. Santa Claus made a couple of appearances- one as this giant inflatable accompanied by great lights, and another in person as he waved to everyone riding on top of a City of Poughkeepsie Fire Engine. You could even find a couple of our Townsquare trucks parading down the line, waving to patrons, and rocking along with the festivities.

Conor Walsh
Conor Walsh
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Around 7:30 pm, they lit the tree and set off the fireworks. Now, I don’t typically relate fireworks with December, but you know what, it was a nice treat. Despite my detest of the cold, I felt very warmed by the community and the lights around me. Thank you to everyone who stopped by and said hello at our booth. We all had a blast talking with people about their WRRV memories, concert experiences, and playing Spin-the-Wheel, and handing out several fun prizes. It was quite the memorable first event that I have worked for Townsquare, and quite a remarkable first time taking in Poughkeepsie’s Celebration of Lights celebration!

The event was presented by the Bardavon, Cocoon Theatre and City of Poughkeepsie, County of Dutchess, and Poughkeepsie River District Business Association, with support from Nuvance Health, Rhinebeck Bank, Dutchess Cars, GEODIS, and TD Bank Foundation.

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