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First Friday Poughkeepsie

A monthly food, art and music festival described by many as a “community movement,” First Friday Poughkeepsie is a city-wide celebration held in a new neighborhood on the first Friday of every month from May thru October, 5-8:30 p.m., and aims to increase awareness of the City and showcase it as a thriving, safe, and attractive place to live and do business.

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History of First Friday Poughkeepsie

It was the first friday of January 2016, the end of Mayor Rob Rolison’s first full week at work for the City of Poughkeepsie. The Mayor had campaigned on the promise to bring more business, more residents and more visitors to the City, and showcase everything the Queen City has to offer. His friend Anne Saylor and his transition team surprised him with celebratory cake that day, and that is when the idea was born.

On Friday, April 1, 2016, the inaugural First Friday Poughkeepsie was launched at The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, encouraging all in attendance to seek out restaurants, cafes and other retail establishments throughout the City and enjoy #FirstFridayPK specials.

It was a great success, and just one year in, the people of the City wanted more. So we organized a team of businesses to lead the effort, our founding sponsors - Rhinebeck Bank, R.L. Baxter Building Corp. and LCS Companies, along with an entire committee of dedicated volunteers and event coordinator Bianca Hendricks of RSVP by B. We launched our first street fair in August 2017, followed by three more monthly events, and just like that, a new era was ushered in for First Friday.

In 2018, we introduced new themes - Cinco de Mayo; Country, Blues & BBQ; and Around the World; new locations - Market Street, Waryas Park, and more food, more art, more music! Our average attendance ballooned to 1,500 attendees per event. Who knows what the future holds for First Friday Poughkeepsie, but we owe it all to you, our community, our patrons, our businesses for making it possible month after month, year after year. See you on First Friday!

Our Sponsors

First Friday Poughkeepsie couldn’t be possible without our Founding Sponsors: Rhinebeck Bank and R.L. Baxter Building Corporation. Additional support has been provided by Royal Carting, Poughkeepsie Journal Media, and iHeart Media of the Hudson Valley, DJ Smitty, Ross Media, RSVP by V, and PKGO.

These local businesses and organizations have taken the lead in working with First Friday Poughkeepsie in making the City of Poughkeepsie a better place to live, work, and play!

Meet the Team

An active volunteer committee, passionate supporters, and strong community collaborations played a key role in ensuring the event’s success.

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Michelle Barone-Lepore

Co-Chair

My family, my career and music make me happy!

Senior Vice President of Marketing at Rhinebeck Bank

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Don Minichino

Co-Chair

Dragon Boat Champion. Mediocre runner. Weekend traveler. Fun Uncle.

Director of Business Attraction, Think Dutchess

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Amanda Baxter

Co-Chair

Don't wait for opportunity. Create it.

President at R.L. Baxter Building Corporation
Co-Owner of HERITAGE Food + Drink

Meet the First Friday Committee!

Lorenzo Angelino Esq. at Law Offices of Lorenzo L. Angelino
Brian Apfel, Director of Digital Marketing and Social Media at Marist College
Nicole Fiore, Group Benefits - Senior Customer Service Representative at Marshall & Sterling Insurance
Angela M. Gervino, Director of Human Resources at LCS Companies, Inc.
Tim McQueen, Owner/Creative Director at Envyus Sound & Multimedia
Ryan Michael, Web Content Coordinator at SUNY New Paltz
Don Minichino, Director of Business Attraction at Th!nk Dutchess
Gabriel Morales, Assistant Project Manager at R. L. Baxter Building Corporation