City of Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison joined dozens of people at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House on Friday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of First Friday Poughkeepsie. The monthly celebration of the city’s cultural, dining and entertainment offerings, highlighting “the best of Poughkeepsie” to create a unique and fun atmosphere in the city on the first Friday of every month is the brainchild of Poughkeepsie's First Lady, Lori Rolison.

Local, county, and NYS elected officials joined the crowd to usher in the event that even had Common Council member Ann Perry playing the drums in the lobby of the Bardavon. Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro took to the microphone to offer words of encouragement for the program and reminded everyone that Mayor Rolison has done an incredible job over the last year to "bring the buzz back to Poughkeepsie." Molinaro lightheartedly mentioned that Mrs. Rolison was the driving force behind "First Friday Poughkeepsie" and the mayor neglected to publicly thank her.

Rolison also used the start of the event to announce the kickoff of the "7 Minute Clean Up" which was inspired by WPDH on air personality Robyn Taylor. The concept is to encourage people to spend 7 minutes cleaning up garbage around their homes or businesses.

"If people take 7 minutes a day, a week, or even a month to clean up around their home or business, imagine how much cleaner Poughkeepsie would be," Rolison said.

Rolison noted that the City's DPW workers are diligent in their efforts to keep Poughkeepsie clean which included logging almost 3,000 miles on the City's street sweeper last year while picking up almost 60 tons of debris. That weight estimate does not include all of the abandoned mattresses that Mayor Rolison and DPW Commissioner Chris Gent personally picked up.

The first volunteer group to sign on to the initiative is Joseph's House, a halfway home for recovering drug addicts on Washington Street. A group of 20 or so residents of the program were going to join the mayor and others on Saturday, April 8, to clean Washington Street between Bain Avenue and Mansion Street. Several other businesses have reached out to the mayor to join the program.