Friends of the Walkway's annual benefit, Starry Starry Night, is known as an evening filled with good food, amazing views, and notable Hudson Valley performers. This year’s event in celebration of the 13th anniversary of the opening of Walkway over the Hudson on the banks of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie is shaping up to be just as magical.
On Friday, October 7 from 6 to 10pm guests of the gala can sip, savor, and stroll along Upper Landing Park as they enjoy craft cocktails and local fare, with the evening culminating in a one-of-a-kind fireworks show over the Hudson.
“Starry Starry Night is the Walkway’s signature fundraiser,” says Ron Lane, Friends of the Walkway board member and co-chair of the event committee. “The food, drink, entertainment, and camaraderie our guests will experience is second to none, and the support is a significant reason why we’re able to keep adding new amenities to the park to improve the Walkway experience.”
This year’s event will honor the transformative work and leadership of Elizabeth Waldstein, the Friends of the Walkway’s longest-tenured executive director upon her upcoming retirement, as well as acknowledge many of the organizations “Great Connectors” whose contributions turned a derelict railroad bridge into a world-renowned destination for recreation, history, community, and culture.
Waldstein led the development of transformative infrastructure projects like the Ulster Welcome Center, Dutchess Welcome Center, East Gate Plaza, and on-bridge lighting, while shaping the Friends of the Walkway organization, the Greater Walkway Experience, and the signature volunteer ambassadors into visible, sustainable programs that impact hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors each year.
“Elizabeth’s work and the contributions of our Great Connectors is a significant reason why the Walkway has become the beloved destination that it is today,” says Maureen Solero, Chair, Friends of the Walkway Board of Directors. “Starry Starry Night is the perfect time to celebrate the Hudson Valley, the Walkway, and the people that make our region so special while supporting the important work that is still to be done.”
Friends of the Walkway’s annual benefit gala, Starry Starry Night, will take place on Friday, October 7 from 6 to 10pm at Upper Landing Park in Poughkeepsie. Starry Starry Night is chiefly supported by Ursa Major sponsors Dr. Lucy Waletzky, Nuvance Health, One Dutchess Luxury Apartments, Michael Fleischer and Michael Dupree, Marshall & Sterling, and Tompkins Community Bank. Tickets are $175 per person and are available at Walkway.org/starrystarrynight.