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Hundreds on hand for Liberty Pole lighting

Liberty Pole Lighting 2021
James Brown
Hundreds watch as drag queen Kasha Davis lights Rochester's Liberty Pole

A holiday tradition continued Saturday. After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of Rochesterians came downtown to watch the lighting of the Liberty Pole at the corner of Main, Franklin and East Avenue.

Drag queen Kasha Davis lit the pole in place of Mayor James Smith who is recovering from COVID-19.

“This such a wonderful honor. I’m so grateful to be here,” said Davis. “I moved here in 1999 and started performing as Mrs. Davis 2004 and I can’t believe it.”

It was cold and windy but Tina Mercado and her family had a blast. She said they came for a taste a normal

“It’s a tradition.” said Mercado. “Every year we come to the lighting. And every year we walk with the parade down to Manhattan Square.”

After the lighting the Mercados, Santa, New Orleans Jazz band Prime Time Bass and hundreds of others stopped at Javas on Gibbs Street for an impromptu concert before marching to Roc Holiday Village.

Mayor Smith is expected back at City Hall Monday.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.