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SUMMER GUIDE '12: Calendar

What to do every day of the summer



There's so much to do in Rochester in the summer. So much, in fact, that just looking at pages and pages of endless listings can leave you, dear reader, nearly paralyzed by the sheer number of events that fill nearly every day of the next three months. So let us do the work for you.

City has played social planner, picking one activity for you to indulge in every single day of the summer, from the Summer Guide publication date (June 6) to Labor Day (September 3). Given those limitations, this is not a comprehensive listing of everything that's going on -- for that you should pick up City Newspaper every Wednesday, or visit our online calendar at rochestercitynewspaper.com -- but it's a good mixture of festivals, special events, concerts, art exhibits, stage shows, and more that will practically guarantee that you make the most of the summer.

Wednesday, June 6

SPORTS: Kick off summer by heading out for a night of peanuts, crackerjacks, and that great American summer sport: baseball. On June 6 at 7:05 p.m., the Rochester Red Wings minor-league baseball team will take on the Norfolk Orioles at Frontier Field. If you can't make it to Wednesday's game, don't worry; the Red Wings will present home games throughout the summer, many featuring special events before or after the action. After every Sunday home game, kids can run the bases with mascots Spikes and Mittsy. For Monday afternoon home games, take your children out for lunch -- the first 500 kids under 12 receive a hot dog, soda, and snack. Or start your weekend with a bang, as there will be fireworks following every Friday and Saturday home game (with the exclusion of Saturday, July 7). Frontier Field is located at 1 Morrie Silver Way in the High Falls District. Single-game tickets cost $7-$12. For tickets, a schedule, and more information, go to redwingsbaseball.com or call 426-WING. (AR)

Thursday, June 7

CLASSICAL: The year was 1912. The Republic of China was proclaimed on New Year's Day, Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a flying airplane, and the RMS Titanic sunk. It was also the last year for Rochester's weekly Friday Sings, using the Rochester Songbook. Join the Rochester Oratorio Society and Gibbs & Main Chamber Ensemble as they revive this historic Rochester tradition, singing anthems, patriotic selections, and other long-time favorites in its program, "Rochester Sings." They'll blend the past with the present, as Gibbs & Main premieres "Lulu" by Rochester composer Diego Garcia. Need some practice with your fa-la-la? Go to the ROS website (ROSSings.org) and print out selections from the Rochester Songbook to warm up your vocal cords. The concert takes place June 7 at 7:30 p.m. at HochsteinSchool of Music & Dance (50 N. Plymouth Ave.). Tickets cost $25. For more information call 473-2234 or visit the website. (PC)

Friday, June 8

MUSIC/ART: Prince Rogers Nelson -- better known as musician/actor/writer Prince, and briefly as that bizarre symbol I can't find on my keyboard -- celebrated his 54th birthday on June 7. If you would die for Prince, or at least like to hear some of awesome music live, check out "A Tribute to Prince" tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.). The Lobby is hosting this Paisley Park-packed evening of Prince covers by Hassan Mackey, Sound Principals, George Grady and the Beautiful Ones, Filthy Funk with Danielle Ponder, and others. You'll also get a group art show hilariously titled "The Artist Formerly Shown as Prints." Bear in mind that, in addition to Prince's own formidable catalogue ("1999," "Little Red Corvette," "When Doves Cry," "Kiss"), he wrote major songs for artists including The Bangles, Sheila E., The Time, and Sinead O'Connor (Prince wrote "Nothing Compares 2 U"), so there's plenty of material for these local musicians and artists to draw upon. Plus, per Wikipedia, the man once scrapped an entire album after having a spiritual epiphany that it was evil. That is pretty badass. The event takes place 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Admission costs $6. For more information visit lobbydigital.com. (ER)

Saturday, June 9

ART/FESTIVAL: There's a lot of mystification surrounding the creative process, but not all artists create work while holed up in a studio until exhibition time. Perhaps less common is the plein-air artist, who works in the open, depicting the beauty found in nature. The Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition and Festival will take place June 8-10 in Canandaigua, and will include a juried and judged competition of plein-air art. Media includes soft pastel, oil, acrylic, gouache, and transparent watercolor, and subject matter will range from Canandaigua Lake to city streets, historic structures, and regional wildlife. Cash prizes will be awarded to artists after judging. The public sale and exhibition of art will take place June 10, 6-8 p.m. Other aspects of the festival include a June 9 sidewalk-chalk competition with three age group divisions. For more information, call 234-6032 or visit canandaiguaarts.com. (RR)

Sunday, June 10

THEATER: Take in a free script-in-hand reading of "Bent" as part of the Jewish Community Center's Reader Theatre SummerFest. "Bent" is a 1979 play about the Nazi persecution of homosexual men, and it's one of a series of theatrical offerings this summer at the JCC that coincide with the traveling exhibition "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945," which will be showing at the center through July 22, in partnership with the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. Future readings in the SummerFest schedule include "No Word for Me in Guyanese" (June 24), "The Zero Hour" (July 1), and a fully staged production of the Tony-winning show "Spring Awakening" (July 14-July 22; tickets cost $18-$26). The JCC is located at 1200 Edgewood Ave. For more information on the center, its many special events, or the traveling exhibition, call 461-2000 or visit jccrochester.org. (ER)

Monday, June 11

THEME PARK: Time to play hooky. Extend your weekend by a day and head to DarienLake. The theme park -- about an hour west of Rochester, in Darien, NY -- is boasting $5 million worth of improvements this year, with an emphasis on its new live entertainment line-up. Acts include jugglers, hypnotists, "extreme" parrots, percussion crews, a canine-thrill show, and more (acts change throughout the season; check the park website for schedules). Of course, DarienLake is best known for its jaw-dropping rollercoasters, including Predator, Mind Eraser, Boomerang, and Ride of Steel, as well as its 10-acre water park. On June 11 the park will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and it's before the regular season starts (the park opens daily for the summer starting June 15), so the lines should be more manageable. A day pass to DarienLake costs $26.99-$44.99 (children 2 and under free), while season passes run $59.99-$69.99. For more information call 599-4641 or visit godarienlake.com. (ER)

Tuesday, June 12

MUSIC: Upstate New York is no stranger to rap-rock juggernauts Gym Class Heroes. The band got its start in nearby Geneva, and found chart-topping success by mixing hip-hop and rap music with pop and rock. That blend can be tricky, especially when you have to balance each genre's respective loyal fans, but the recipe has given the group nothing but success, making them heroes of more than just gym class. The Heroes will be headlining tonight's WPXY Summer Jam at Frontier Field, which will also feature Carly Rae Jepsen ("Call Me Maybe") and "Brokenhearted" duo Karmin, two acts that seem poised to rule the airwaves and dance floors this summer. Summer Jams tend to sell out, so plan early and be ready to party. The show kicks off at 5 p.m. and tickets cost $30-$50. For more information visit 98pxy.com. (WC)

Wednesday, June 13

FILM: With all the outdoor options this summer, from festivals to parks, there is nothing wrong with staying inside for a few hours. And what better way to do that than to catch a double feature at Rochester's oldest neighborhood theater, the Cinema Theater. Since the Cinema usually features movies that have recently come and gone from the megaplexes, it's a good opportunity to see a flick you may have missed. On top of that, you won't be spending a lot of dinero. A double feature costs $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors, and the concessions are affordable too. Be sure to check the website before you head out to see that week's offerings. The Cinema is located at 957 S. Clinton Ave. For more information call 271-1785 or visit cinemarochester.com. (AS)

Thursday, June 14

MUSIC: Looking for something to do on Thursday nights through the summer? Every Thursday, June 7-August 9, Party in the Park will start off the weekend one night early, including Bruce Hornsby &The Noisemakers on June 14. Singer, pianist, and accordion player Hornsby and company mix together a jazzy rock improvisational style rooted in Hornsby's familiar songwriting and soaring vocals. He might not actually make it rain mandolins, but that's just the way it is. Other acts playing this year Party in the Park include Molly Hatchet (June 7), Rusted Root (June 21), Tower of Power (July 5), Young the Giant (July 12), and George Thorogood & The Destroyers (August 9), just to name a few, so it's a guarantee that your Thursday nights won't be musically deprived this summer. Just remember there's still work the next morning. Party in the Park kicks off every Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Riverside Festival Site (Court Street and Exchange Boulevard), and admission is $2. For a full line-up or more info check rochesterevents.com. (WC)

Friday, June 15

MUSIC: Who knew our dreams were made of such metallic melodies? Since 1985 Dream Theater has been showing fans exactly what the stages of our dreams are filled with: writhing guitar licks, fierce drums, and 23-minute-long epic song compositions. After 11 studio albums, a recent Grammy nomination, and countless accolades for the members being the best on their individual instruments, Dream Theater continues to prove that the band still has its chops, and just may be the stuff dreams are made of after all. The band plays the Main Street Armory (900 E. Main St.) June 15 for a 6:30 p.m. show; tickets cost $39.50. For more events coming up this summer at the Armory check rochestermainstreetarmory.com. (WC)

Saturday, June 16

ART: Take a day to stroll the MemorialArtGallery, including its big summer show, the 5th "Rochester Biennial." The show runs June 10-August 5 at the gallery, and will showcase recent works by some of our region's best artists. This year's invitational features sculptures by Roberto Bertoia of Ithaca, video work by Yvonne Buchanan of Syracuse, ceramic art by Val Cushing of Alfred, glass works by Eunsuh Choi of Rochester, paintings by David Higgins of Corning, and photography by the team of Larson & Shindelman (MarniShindelman of Rochester and Nate Larson of Baltimore). In following tradition, one artist (Buchanan) was selected on the strength of her work in last year's "Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition." The MemorialArtGallery is located at 500 University Ave. The exhibition party will take place Saturday, June 9, 8-11 p.m., and tickets ($25, free to MAG members at the Supporter level and above ) are required. Artists' lectures and exhibition tours will be offered throughout the run of the exhibition. For more information, call 276-8900, or visit mag.rochester.edu. (RR)

Sunday, June 17

MUSEUM: Chug and choochoo on down to the NY Museum of Transportation (6393 E. River Road, Rush) and learn the ins and outs of the world of railroading. Discover how the each car connects to one another and stays connected. Become educated on what makes a train go and propel different types of cargo around the United States. Hop on the rails in an old time caboose and discover the railroading history of our region. The museum is open Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission costs $5-$7 -- which includes rides on trolleys, diesel engines, or track cars -- and just a dollar more for special events. For more information on the museum or a schedule of special events visit nymtmuseum.org. (AS)

Monday, June 18

SPECIAL EVENT: Like wine, when beer is done right, it can be art in a bottle. Well-crafted beers can contain different flavor notes or offer up various finishes. Given the rising interest in home brews and craft brews alike, Rochester Real Beer Week -- running June 15-23 -- is a new week-long event that showcases craft brews, beer parings and dinners, socials, craft beer launches, and live entertainment. The beer snob, beer lover, or brave soul that likes to try new things, this multi-venue event will be sure to make you tip a few back and enjoy the summer a little more. The day-long Reel Beer Expo will kick things off on Saturday, June 16, 6-10 p.m. in the South Wedge. A variety of other events will continue the week following. Tonight, check out beer-themed trivia at The Old Toad, a Fly Fox beer tasting at Nathaniel Square Corner Store, a Rohrbach Beer Dinner at Next Door Bar & Grill, or "Can You Dig?" at Donnelly's Public House. For more information visit rochesterrealbeer.com. (AS)

Tuesday, June 19

RECREATION: You're stressed, and it's only the beginning of the week. That's no way to experience summer. Get in some relaxation, work on your fitness, and grab a bit of culture at the same time by doing yoga at the MemorialArtGallery. On Tuesdays at 5 p.m. and Thursdays at 7 p.m. join yoga instructor Tom Somerville for an hour-long yoga session in various areas of the gallery. Somerville practices a form of hatha yoga that is accessible for beginners, but still totally worthwhile for regular yoga practitioners. (This writer has taken many classes with Somerville and recommends him highly; I always leave totally blissed out and feeling great.) Somerville says, "art museums are a place for reflection, solace, and to go inside as you look at the beauty out and around you. Yoga also helps you go inside yourself and reflect. Being in the midst of artistic expression and creativity may inspire your practice, help you relax and meditate." Classes cost $10, and drop-ins are welcome; be sure to bring your own yoga mat. Note that there are no classes on June 12, 26, or 28. For more information call 276-8950 or visit mag.rochester.edu. (ER)

Wednesday, June 20

SPECIAL EVENT: So you think you're smart? You know your sports, your current events, your pop culture? Put your hubris to the test at Geeks Who Drink Trivia at Scotland Yard Pub. Geeks Who Drink is a national trivia competition. A former "Jeopardy" champion writes a new set of questions for each night of the week (eight rounds, eight questions, including visual and audio categories), and the quiz goes down at approximately the same time at bars and pubs across the country. (In Rochester Geeks Who Drink happens every Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Jeremiah's Tavern on Monroe Avenue, and every Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Scotland Yard.) The following morning all of the scores are posted on the Geeks Who Drink website (geekswhodrink.com), so you can compare yourself to smartasses across the country. It's a good time, a chance to win some prizes, and a great excuse to grab some burgers and beers with friends. Scotland Yard is located at 187 St. Paul St.; for more information visit scotlandyardpub.com. (ER)

Thursday, June 21

RECREATION: Dust of those running shoes and put on your game face, the eye of the tiger is upon you -- literally. Starting at 5:45 p.m. at the Seneca Park Zoo (2222 St. Paul St.) is the Downtown Fitness Club's Fitness Challenge. Teams of four (two men and two women) will compete in three highly physical stations, each requiring the brains and brawn of all team members. There will also be a stand-alone competition that individuals can compete in for additional prizes. Each challenge will take place next to tigers, alligators, and other zoo animals. It's $200 per team to sign up and pre-registration is required. If you'd like to compete as an individual it's $15, or $5 for spectators. For more information on the event visit downtownfitnessclub.com. (AS)

Friday, June 22

FESTIVAL: It may be starting a few weeks later this year, but the 11th edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival is shaping up to be well worth the wait. You may come for the big guns -- the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Steve Martin, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Dweezil Zappa are headlining this year -- but it's the myriad acts from all over the world that afford the real musical discoveries. There's a reason the festival continues so strongly year after year, and has moved past being a Rochester music scene staple to a world-renowned and respected jazz institution. The 2012 XRIJF runs June 22-30 at multiple venues in Rochester's East End. Many of the headlining shows and all of the Club Passes have already sold out, but individual tickets are available at the doors of the dozen ClubPass venues, and the festival includes a variety of free shows every day. For more information check rochesterjazz.com. And make sure to check out City's Jazz Guide, publishing June 13, as well as our daily jazz blogs on rochestercitynewspaper.com. (WC)

Saturday, June 23

SPORTS: Rochester is loaded with various minor-league sports teams, including those for major sports like baseball, hockey, basketball, and soccer. One local sport that have slipped off your radar is lacrosse, that game started by Native Americans hundreds of years ago. This is a past time that predates America, baseball, hotdogs, and Super Bowls. Get some in-your-face lacrosse action this summer as our home team, the Rochester Rattlers, play in Sahlen's Stadium (460 Oak St.). On June 23 at 7 p.m. the team will be taking on the Hamilton Nationals in a game of speed, strategy, and accuracy. Tickets, more information, and a full schedule of other Rattler games can be found at rochesterrattlers.com. (AS)

Sunday, June 24

SPECIAL EVENT: Unless you're in a particularly historically minded circle, it's probable that your knowledge of wars is a bit more skewed toward the bloody so-called Civil War and the horrors of the two World Wars. The War of 1812, often called "the forgotten war," reaches its bicentennial this year, and a commemoration will be held at the Genesee Country Village & Museum (1410 Flint Hill Road, Mumford) June 23-24. Events for the War of 1812 & Jane Austen Weekend will take place 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, and will include re-enactors who will contextualize the events of the war for our region in particular, as well as a special focus on Jane Austen and the Regency Era. Activities include parades and flag raisings, fashion shows, musket and artillery target shooting, militia drills, dance demos, craftspeople, fife and drum concerts, and information on the Native Americans' role in the war. Tickets cost $10.50-$16.50, free for children age 3 and under. Other GCVM summer events include Independence Day: A Celebration across Time (July 4), Civil War Reenactment (July 14-15), Concert on the Meadow: BeatleMagic! (July 28), Laura Ingalls Wilder Days (August 11-12), and the Old-Time Fiddlers' Fair (August 18-19). For more information, call 538-6822 or visit gcv.org. (RR)

Monday, June 25

RECREATION: Take the night off and go for a leisurely stroll, run, or bike ride along the Erie Canal in Pittsford. The Canal intersects the heart of Pittsford, so you can explore all of the unique shops in Schoen Place, as well as on Main Street. Grab some ice cream at Bill Wahl's Microcreamery & Ice Cream, dine at Simply Crepes, or browse all of the unique shops and retailers downtown Pittsford has to offer, like Towpath Bike, Pittsford Wine & Spirits, Naples Creek Leather and Embrasse-Moi. Stop and feed the ducks with the kids or rent a kayak, canoe, or bicycle. Just make sure to wear a hat; the canal doesn't offer much shade from the sun, but the open area provides a terrific breeze. It's perfect for a peaceful evening spent out enjoying the weather, as well as a pretty important and special part of New York history. (TR)

Tuesday, June 26

MUSIC: On June 26 two acts will fill Water Street Music Hall on the same night, but they couldn't be further apart. Country singer, humorist, politician, and singer of songs such as "They Ain't Makin' Jews Like Jesus Anymore," Kinky Friedman mixes Tenacious D-style humor with acoustic country ramblings, and will be performing on the club side (6 p.m., $25-$30). Rockers Motion City Soundtrack take the music hall proper, with the group's powerful pop-rock mix (7 p.m., $16-$18). But they aren't the only big names WSMH is pulling in over the next few months. Dick Dale (July 13), Melvins Lite (July 1), Ingrid Michaelson (July 21), and The Toadies and Helmet (August 4) will call Water Street home this summer as well. (WC)

Wednesday, June 27

THEATER: RSVP for the social event of the season - tonight you're taking in "The Calamari Sisters Big Fat Italian Wedding" at the East End Theater (727 E. Main St.). This marks the third show for local favorites The Calamari Sisters, who slayed audiences with their previous two shows at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre. This new musical-comedy production sees Carmela and Delphine preparing for their arranged marriages. Expect new songs, new fights, new laughs, and new recipes. Who's hungry? "The Calamari Sisters Big Fat Italian Wedding" will run throughout the summer. The June 27 show starts at 7 p.m., and tickets cost $39-$45. For more information, including a full schedule of performances, call 428-8338 or visit thecalamarisisters.com. (ER)

Thursday, June 28

ART: Take a long lunch break and check out the "6x6x2012" exhibit showing at Rochester Contemporary Art Center. The "6x6" show has become something of a phenomenon for RoCo. The concept is simple, elegant, and fun: the show is made up of more than 7000 6"x6" artworks in a multitude of media, created by...you. Well, maybe not you specifically, but hundreds of people from the Rochester area and the world over submitted pieces to the gallery, including local celebrities and big names from the art world. But here's the trick: all of the works are anonymous, and you won't find out who created a piece unless you purchase it from the gallery for $20 (you can buy the art in person, or online at roco6x6.org). It's a fantastic fundraiser for the modern-art space, but beyond that, it's a cool exhibit, one you can easily spend hours studying and possibly STILL not see every piece. The exhibit continues through July 15. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Sunday 1-5 p.m., Friday until 10 p.m., and admission is $1. For more information on RoCo or "6x6" visit rochestercontemporary.org. (ER)

Friday, June 29

MUSIC: Thirty years is a milestone worth celebrating for any band, and legendary hardcore outfit Agnostic Front is reveling in its anniversary in style. The 30-year anniversary tour hits Dub Land Underground in Rochester on June 29, with the band bringing its fierce and raucous, hard-edged, hardcore rock. Agnostic Front will be performing its "Live At CBGB's" 1989 set list, so get ready to mosh and sweat and dance in a circle pit like there's no tomorrow. If you had any doubt before, Agnostic Front may just yet make you a believer. The show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets cost $15-$23. DubLand Underground is located at 315 Alexander St. For more information on the club and other upcoming events visit dublandunderground.wordpress.com. (WC)

Saturday, June 30

THEATER: "You need a little drama in your life. Head over to community performance space MuCCC for the closing night of "An Evening of Albee," a John W. Borek Presents production. Edward Albee is one of the great American playwrights. His perceptive, unflinching examinations of domestic life in such legendary plays as "The Zoo Story" and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" are impossible to ignore, and his gift for wit and dialogue is breathtaking to behold. For this production - running June 21-30 - Director MicharlArve will oversee three short Albee plays, "The Sandbox," "The American Dream," and "Listening." Tickets cost $10-$20. If you can't make this show, note that there's almost something exciting going on at MuCCC. Nary a weekend goes by when the converted church isn't hosting some brave, thoughtful piece of performance art put on by one of the many arts groups and performers that call the space home. And best of all, tickets are always affordable. MuCCC is located at 142 Atlantic Ave. For more information call 244-0960 or visit muccc.org. (ER)


Sunday, July 1

SPECIAL EVENT: And you thought 50 was a big birthday. This year the town of Perinton will celebrate its bicentennial -- that's 200 years. Celebratory events for the Perinton Bicentennial will take place July 1-15, and feature a plethora of activities for families to witness and enjoy. There will be a 4th of July themed parade, and concerts taking place throughout the week at the Center Stage at CenterPark, with day activities taking place at the Fireman's Field. A bicentennial scavenger hunt, historical walking tours of FairportVillage, Bushnell's Basin, and Egypt will be offered in addition to the activities mentioned above. On July 1 look for events starting at noon, with live music, an opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m., and more. For additional info visit perinton.org. (AS)

Monday, July 2

THEME PARK: Chances are you're going to have Wednesday off for the holiday. Be bold, use this weird calendar to your advantage, and call in Monday and Tuesday -- five-day weekend! And how better to spend July 2 than by having a hooky day at Seabreeze Amusement Park. There's a lot to love about Seabreeze. First, it's right in your backyard, right on IrondequoitBay. Second, it packs all the thrills of the bigger theme parks into a smaller, more manageable location, and lines are rarely a problem. Among Seabreeze's claims to fame is the historic Jackrabbit rollercoaster, a bevy of other "dry" rides, live entertainment including Cirque en Vol, and an extensive water park. New this year is the Hydro Racer, the first slide of its kind in New York. There's also the Cool Down Cove water-play area, modifications to the LazyRiver, more lounging areas, and other updates. Seabreeze is open daily 11 a.m.-10 p.m. through Labor Day. Ride & Slide passes cost $21.99-$26.99, or you can get the Night Rider pass for $19.99 for unlimited rides after 5 p.m. or the SpectatorPass for non-riders for $11.99 (check the website for various discount opportunities). (ER)

Tuesday, July 3

SPECIAL EVENT: Our national vocabulary includes the term "Holocaust." Less widely used is the biblical term "Shoah," which, depending on who you ask, means whirlwind, destruction, calamity, or catastrophe, and refers to the same series of events that we should never let slip from our consciousness. But very few Americans are familiar with the equally important Swahili term, "Maafa," though we really should be. Maafa means disaster or horrific event, and refers to the horrors of the Middle Passage during the time of slavery, and its ongoing impact in the lives of African-American people today. Maafa: Day of Remembrance is held to honor the struggles and triumphs of people of African descent worldwide, and to honor and recognize the 2012 Local Warriors who have contributed to the wellbeing of the Rochester community. The 14th annual event will take place July 3 6-8 p.m. at the DurandEastmanPark shoreline. This year's theme is "Moving from Chaos to Community" and will include speakers and love circle drumming. The event is free and open to all who desire to gain history, information, knowledge and to honor those lost in the Middle Passage. For more information, call 748-7727 or 313-3685, or visit maafacc.webs.com. (RR)

Wednesday, July 4

HOLIDAY: Whistle, crack, and boom! There aren't many days in the year that you get to play with fire -- or at least delight in watching things explode -- and celebrate your patriotism at the same time. So make sure to use the Fourth of July to celebrate everything that is red, white, and blue at one of our many local 4th of July celebrations. The City of Rochester will have fireworks and music (courtesy of Jimmie Highsmith, Jr. and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra) on the MainStreetBridge, but most of the other local towns and municipalities have their own unique and festive celebrations as well. Make sure you check your local town's website for details, or at least look around the sky around 9 p.m. to see the corona of competing fireworks displays. Whatever you do, make Uncle Sam proud, and don't forget to bring out the sparklers. (For more information on the city's July 4 display visit cityofrochester.gov.) -- BY WILLIE CLARK

Thursday, July 5

MUSIC: It can be hard to be a cowboy in modern times. But Orlando-based band Hindu Cowboys will take you back to the good old days of gun slinging, horse riding, and showdowns at high noon when it plays Downtown's Abilene Bar & Lounge on July 5. Mixing together acoustic guitar, string bass, and electric guitar, the Cowboys bring to mind a time when country music was good and still actually called country. Get ready to ride off into the sunset with its tried and true tales and tunes. Time and price for the show are TBD; Abilene is located at 153 Liberty Pole Way. Other notable acts to take the Abilene saloon by storm this summer include Scott H. Biram and Lydia Loveless, Ana Egge, and Hinkley. For more information and a full concert schedule visit abilenebarandlounge.com. (WC)

Friday, July 6

FESTIVAL: It's the official kick-off for Rochester Pride 2012, the annual celebration of Rochester's gay, lesbian, and transgender community. The theme for this year's Pride is "Pride Power: Superheroes," and as a gay comic-geek, I am personally hoping to see some very creative, and very tight, spandex superhero outfits moseying down the Pride Parade when it takes place on Saturday, July 14. But on July 6 you can take in a rainbow flag-raising ceremony at City Hall at 5 p.m., and then check out one of Rochester's funkiest, most welcoming neighborhoods with Sassy in the South Wedge, an event that will feature various merchant deals. Other events for Rochester Pride include a July 13 kick-off party at the HolidayInnAirport, the post-parade Pride Festival on July 14 in the Auditorium Theatre parking lot, and the annual Pride Picnic on July 15. For more information - and additional events as they are booked - check gayalliance.org/pride/events. (ER)

Saturday, July 7

FESTIVAL: It's time for one of the summer's most popular events: the family-friendly Corn Hill Arts Festival. This festival offers no shortage of sights and sounds to enjoy. Local and out-of-town artists and crafters will display their wares. Jazz and rock bands put on free concerts. And there are plentiful food and drink booths, including possibly the largest number of kettle corn stands in the Western New York area. Plus it all goes down in the charming, historic neighborhood that is Corn Hill. The fest runs July 7-8. Note that parking can be tricky for this free event, so shuttles will run from several downtown locations. For more information on the festival, including a line-up of artists, an entertainment schedule, and parking information, visit cornhillartsfestival.com. (AS)

Sunday, July 8

THEATER: Head to the theater for an afternoon matinee of "Avenue Q," the raucous, infectious musical playing this summer at Geva Theatre. "Avenue Q" won the 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score. Totally deserved. The comedy blends Generation X humor with "Sesame Street" trappings, creating a totally inappropriate but equally awesome show about the struggles of a bunch of economically struggling neighbors - and puppet monsters - trying to grow up in modern New York City. The show is at times sweet ("Mix Tape"), wistful ("I Wish I Could Go Back to College"), hopeful ("For Now"), and almost consistently raunchy ("You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)") and politically incorrect ("Everyone's a Little Bit Racist"). If you don't like this show you are have no soul, were born prior to 1965, or desperately need an enema. "Avenue Q" runs on the Geva Mainstage June 28-July 21; tickets start at $25. Also on stage this summer at Geva is "The Tribut to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel Through the Years," which previously played at Las Vegas's Caesar's Palace, and will run here July 27-August 11. Geva is located at 75 Woodbury Blvd. For more information call 232-4382 or visit gevatheatre.org. (ER)

Monday, July 9

FILM: The 2012 JCC Ames Amzalak Rochester Jewish Film Festival will be held Sunday, July 8-Monday, July 16, at the Jewish Community Center, the Dryden Theatre, and the Little Theatre. The festival will feature 21 films ranging widely in genre from comedy to suspense, to drama, to romance. Highlights include the July 11 screening of "Tony Curtis: Driven to Stardom," and the Dryden's July 15 screening of "The Yankles," a comedy about a troubled old ball player carrying out his community-service sentence by coaching an amateur team of Orthodox yeshiva students. On July 9, check out "Dolphin Boy," (6 p.m., Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House, 900 East Ave.), a true story in which top Israeli doctors tell a father that "dolphin-assisted therapy" is the last treatment option before his catatonic teenage son is institutionalized. Also screening that night is "My Best Enemy" (8 p.m., Dryden), a World War II thriller that kicks off the Film Fest's annual ice-cream night. The film screening will be followed by a Friendly's Ice Cream Party and complimentary access to George Eastman House. Tickets are $11 general admission, or $9 for JCC members, weekday matinee tickets are $9 or $7 for members, and Ice Cream Night or Closing Night tickets are $15 or $12 for members. For more information, call 461-2000, or visit rjff.org. (RR)

Tuesday, July 10

THEATER: Forget the winter of your discontent; this is your summer of awesomeness. As such, spend your Tuesday night with Shakespeare in the park as "Richard III" plays at the Highland Bowl starting at 8 p.m. "Richard III" is the 17th annual Shakespeare at the Bowl production by Rochester Community Players' Shakespeare Players company. Performances - which are completely free, and always start at 8 p.m. - take place July 6-21. The Shakespeare Players do a marvelous job. Talented actors and brisk stagings bring to life the Bard's eternal classics (last summer's production of "Othello" was truly captivating), and watching them while sitting in the cool summer-night air is a rare urban pleasure. Bring a lawn chair or blanket, a picnic dinner (although concessions are available), and plenty of bug spray. And bring your friends to see how the deformed, scheming Richard ascends to the throne of England, and quickly loses more than his power. Highland Bowl is located at 1200 South Ave. For more information and specific show dates visit rochestercommunityplayers.org. (ERIC)

Wednesday, July 11

CLASSICAL: Now in its 10th season, the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival has been bringing chamber music to the Finger Lakes region from mid-June to early-August. Artistic Director Richard Auldon features members of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra at locations from the GlennH.CurtissMuseum to Hunt Country Vineyards to KeukaCollege and PennYanAcademy. Programming spans traditional classical works of Beethoven and Mozart, includes lighter American fare of Gershwin, Ellington, and Berlin, and gets creative enough to accompany a silent film with Stravinsky's "L'histoire du soldate" ("The Soldier's Tale"). On July 11 take in a free public concert on the lawn of the Yates County Courthouse, headlined as "Bach to Rock." The show begins at 6:30 p.m. The festival runs June 16-August 4. For more information, including a full schedule, visit FingerLakes-Music.org or call 315-536-0383. (PC)

Thursday, July 12

FESTIVAL: Grab your friends and head out for a night at the MonroeCounty Fair. This year the fair runs July 11-15 at the county fairgrounds (2695 E. Henrietta Road in Henrietta), and while a full schedule of events was not available at press time, you can expect the usual awesome mix of Americana plus a few new attractions. At the fair you'll find competitions ranging from talents to gardening to home arts; daily motor sports at the grandstand; live animals on display at the livestock barn; free performances on the Monster Energy Stage; family activities at Gary the Happy Pirate's Pirates Cove; robot battles at SpacePort USA; and of course a bustling midway, this year with a new ride purveyor. Plus all those great, fattening fair foods and games where you can embarrass yourself while trying to win your sweetie a giant pink cat stuffed animal. The fair opens at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, noon Friday-Sunday. Tickets cost $5-$7, free for kids under 12. For more information visit mcfair.com. (ER)

Friday, July 13

FESTIVAL: You don't have to go to the South to enjoy some mouth-watering BBQ or sample soulful blues music. In addition to Rochester's excellent local barbecue restaurants, several rib events roll through town every summer. Running July 12-15 in Highland Park (South Avenue and Highland Avenue) is th2 2012 Big Rib BBQ & Blues Fest. Open daily 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., this festival features samples from rib masters from all over the United States and Canada, plus the sweet sounds of local and national blues musicians. This year's performers include Carolyn Wonderland and Shemekia Copeland (July 13), Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds (July 12), The Fabulous Thunderbirds (July 14), and more. Admission to the festival is free during lunchtime, and costs $5-$10 after 3 p.m. (children 12 and under free). You can also get a Use It Abuse It four-day pass for $25 -- it's transferable! -- or the Meals on WheelsVIPPartyTentPass for $55, which includes up-close parking, premium stage-side viewing, and an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet. For more information on this year's festival visit rochesterevents.com. (AS)

Saturday, July 14

MUSIC: Hurry up, and bring your jukebox money: legendary party band The B52s and Squeeze play tonight, and they're sure to turn CMAC in Canandaigua into a love shack. You probably know the B52s from their mainstream hits like "Love Shack," "Roam," "Rock Lobster," or "My Own Private Idaho," but this band - which has been recording and performing for nearly four decades - has a deep catalogue just bursting with funky, dance-demanding cuts. Squeeze is no slouch, either. The New Wave band scored a major American hit with "Tempted." The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $20-$75. This Summer Dance Party is just one of the great concerts lined up this summer for CMAC. Other highlights include Sarah McLachlan with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (June 26); the Last Summer on Earth Tour with Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Cracker, and other (July 7); Meat Loaf (July 21); Snoop Dogg (August 2); Journey with Pat Benatar (August 15); Train (August 24); and Kelly Clarkson with The Fray (August 29), but that's only a sampling. For a full line-up visit cmacevents.com. CMAC is located on the Finger LakesCommunity College campus at 3355 Marvin Sand Drive in Canandaigua. (ER)

Sunday, July 15

SPORTS: Head out for the final day of the 23rd Cosequin Stuart Horse Trials, the triathlon of equestrian sports, taking place July 12-15 in Victor. The trials annually draw more than 300 top international riders and horses and more than 18,000 spectators. Horses and riders will show off their strength and elegance in cross-country riding, stadium jumping, and dressage. The cross-country phase includes obstacles that challenge the horse and rider to jump uphill or downhill, drop into or out of water, and adjust to changes in lighting and footing. For 2012, a new beginning/novice course is being added for new eventers or young horses. The posted safety rules for the trials begin with "Horses always have the right of way." The trials take place at Townline and Murray roads in Victor. Spectator admission is free, although there is a fee to park. For more information call 657-6980 or visit StuartHorseTrials.org. Check the website before heading over; weather can impact the show schedule. (PC)

Monday, July 16

DANCE: Tonight FuturePointe Dance performs as part of the 2012 NazarethCollegeArtsCenter Dance Festival. Rochester-based FuturePointe is a contemporary dance company that blends a variety of dance genres -- Caribbean and African, ballet and Latin, reggae and more urban styles -- into thoughtful, riveting pieces. Tonight's 8 p.m. performance ($15-$25) in the Callahan Theatre is only one of the events that make up the 2012 Dance Festival, running July 12-21. Other festival highlights include black-box performances of Bessie Award-winner Beth Gill's "Electric Midwife" (July 14-15), Chicago's Luna Negra Dance Theater (July 14), Buffalo's jazz-dance-inspired LehrerDance (July 15), and the world-renowned Martha Graham Dance Company (July 20-21). NazarethCollegeArtsCenter is located at 4245 East Ave. For more information on the Dance Festival visit artscenter.naz.edu/dance-festival. (ER)

Tuesday, July 17

THEATER: Take in a showing of "Love, Loss, and What I Wore," one of the productions being put on this summer at Blackfriars Theatre. The names Nora and Delia Ephron are probably familiar to even the most casual fan of romantic-comedy films. The sisters have written and/or produced such films as "When Harry Met Sally," "You've Got Mail," and "Sleepless in Seattle." They also adapted Ilene Beckerman's novel "Love, Loss, and What I Wore" into a popular off-Broadway show that has won over audiences with its monologues about women, relationships, and yes, even some thoughts on fashion and its deeper connections to life. Blackfriars is staging the regional debut of the show, which will feature a rotating cast of local actresses (and if you know some of the local actresses who frequently work with Blackfriars, you know will be no shortage of amazing performances coming out of this). The show runs July 13-22. Also on stage this summer at Blackfirars will be a return engagement for "Tom Foolery," the musical featuring the songs of political satirist Tom Lehrer. Blackfriars is located at 795 E. Main St. For more information call 454-1260 or visit bftix.com. (ER)

Wednesday, July 18

SPECIAL EVENT: High-flying action, tricky maneuvers, and speed. No, it's not the Blue Angels. July 18-21 the 1914 Historical Aircraft Group will be hosting a model-airplane show featuring the Flying Aces. Watch as members of both the Flying Aces and HAG show off their hard work and flawless replicas as they launch them into the blue sky. The group is dedicated to the restoration, preservation, display, and flight of aircraft from the World War II and Korean War eras. Other events being put on the HAG this summer include the Geneseo Airshow July 14-15, a MARS rocket sports meet August 18-19, and the WNY Free Flight August 24-26. The HAG museum is located at off Route 63 just west of Geneseo. For more information visit 1941hag.org. (AS)

Thursday, July 19

SPECIAL EVENT: Mormonism is so big right now. "The Book of Mormon" is one of the hottest tickets on Broadway (the show will actually be coming to Rochester next season, thanks to the Rochester Broadway Theatre League), and Mormon Mitt Romney is the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2012 national presidential election. What you might not know is that the Mormon faith got its start not too far from Rochester, in Palmyra, NY. That's where Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saints movement, allegedly first experienced his divine visions. Every year, to celebrate that fact, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints presents the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra. It's not a pageant in the most colloquial sense (although last year I witnessed two local drag queens offer color commentary on the event over Facebook, as if it were Miss America - that was amazing, and also sacreligeous). This is an epic live theater presentation that retells scenes from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. This is the 75th anniversary of the pageant, which runs July 13-14 and 17-21 at Hill Cumorah, on Highway 21 between Palmyra and Manchester. The processional begins at 9:15 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Bear in mind that this is a serious religious experience for people of the Mormon faith. For more information visit hillcumorah.org. (ER)

Friday, July 20

ART: Perhaps you're an art enthusiast, but new to collecting artwork. Besides pure taste, what other considerations go into making a sound art investment? Join Peter and Brad at GeneseeCenter for the Arts' Firehouse Gallery (713 Monroe Avenue) for a Friday Fling! Art Collecting 101 workshop on July 20, 7-9 p.m. Participants will enjoy cocktails (for ages 21+ with ID) or other beverages, learn how to make educated decisions on art acquisitions, and get a tour and critique of the Firehouse Gallery's national show, the "College Clay Collective." The event costs $35, $25 for members. For more information, call 244-1730 or visit geneseearts.org. GeneseeCenter will also host a Summer Photo Camp for Adults July 16-20, and the second annual Spokes & Ink Bike and Poster Party on August 25. For more info on these events, visit geneseearts.org. (RR)

Saturday, July 21

MUSIC: Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of fun! The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra brings the modern Disney classic "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" to the shores of Kodak Hall on July 21 as part of the Disney Live in Concert program. The movie, shown in its entirety at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.), will be accompanied by the RPO playing the score live. The show begins at 7 p.m.; tickets cost $20-$75. Looking for more RPO action? This summer the orchestra will playing a variety of concerts in a variety of styles. Highlights include the music of Queen at CMAC (July 28), "A Summer Night with Tchaikovsky" (July 14), and the annual July 4 downtown fireworks celebration. For a full schedule of concerts and more information visit rpo.org. (WC)

Sunday, July 22

SPECIAL EVENT: Sunday brunch is undeniably the most fabulous meal of the week. Today make it even more special by heading to Drag Brunch at Edibles (704 University Ave.). Billed as "just the right amount of wrong," the Edibles Drag Brunch features delicious brunch selections (and cocktails!) from the staff at Edibles, and non-stop entertainment from some of Rochester's most astonishing drag performers. The line-up rotates, but among the queens who frequently appear are Aggy Dune, DarienneLake, Poison Waters, and Kasha Davis. These ladies are a hoot, the eleganza is sickening (in a good way), the food is delicious, and the audience typically ain't tough to look at, folks. The July 22 Drag Brunch will have two sittings, at noon and 2 p.m. (that's like 9 a.m. in gay time). Admission costs $22 and includes food and entertainment. Reservations are strongly recommended. For more information call 271-4910 or visit ediblesrochester.com. (ER)

Monday, July 23

THEATER: Join The Guild of Mercury Opera Rochester as it takes a tour to the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown. Glimmerglass presents four, primary productions this season: "Aida," "The Music Man," "Armide," and "Lost in the Stars." If you go on July 23, you can take in the glory of Verdi's "Aida," the story of an Ethiopian princess, captured and taken into slavery in Egypt, with a drama that only builds from there. Glimmerglass takes place in the Alice Busch Opera Theater, where the theater itself is a unique part of the experience. Intimate and surrounded by natural beauty, it offers true voice and orchestra sound, without the need for amplification. Start your day with a backstage tour, nosh on a pre-ordered, gourmet picnic on the shores of OtsegoLake, learn during the pre-performance chat, and then sit back and enjoy world-class productions. To get more information on the Mercury Opera Rochester organized trip visit mercuryoperarochester.org. The Glimmerglass Festival runs July 7-August 25. For a show schedule and ticket information call 607-547-2255 or visit glimmerglass.org. (PC)

Tuesday, July 24

SPECIAL EVENT: Summer is a great time for trying new recipes. As part of its numerous offerings, the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua puts on a variety of different cooking classes throughout the season. For meat lovers looking for healthier alternatives to the typical hot dogs and hamburgers, the center has a class just for you. By taking July 24's "Meatless Meals for Carnivores" you'll learn how to prepare tasty, meatless meals, without having to purchase specialty health-food items. The recipes will feature products from New YorkState and are a great way to expand your summer menu. If you're not ready to go completely meatless, NYWCC has plenty of other classes that may suit your style. Visit nycc.com/classes to find a huge list of classes, including "Cooking with Wine," "Summer Entertaining-Tapas Style," and "New York Steakhouse." Fees vary per class, and there are a limited number of seats; reserve your spot by going to the website or by calling 394-7070. The center is located at 800 S. Main St. in Canandaigua. (AR)

Wednesday, July 25

CLASSICAL: Mark your calendars starting Wednesday, July 11, and head out for your weekly Wednesday chance to get your Renaissance on. For the annual Renaissance Summer Sings program, members of MusicaSpei search through filing cabinets and boxes of Renaissance music to pull out a different selection each week for you to enjoy -- and sing along to, a cappella. MusicaSpei performs works from the 13th to 17th centuries, and its library is drawn from Sibley Library at the Eastman School of Music, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Franco-Flemish region and others. Those who are new to these summer sings are partnered with a more experienced member of the group. The gatherings happen Wednesdays 7:30 p.m. July 11-August 1 at Saint Anne Church, 1600 Mt. Hope Ave. There is a $3 requested donation; for more information visit MusicaSpei.org. If you're not already aware, there is a second summer singing event on Tuesday nights July 3-24. Eastman Summer Sings with Conductor William Weinert feature one master work per week at Kilbourn Hall, this year including the likes of Mozart's "Requiem Mass in D-minor" (K.626) and Bach's "Magnificat in D-Major." Check esm.rochester.edu for more info. (PC)

Thursday, July 26

MUSIC: The Invictas started in the 1960's, when rock and roll was new. The band has played with The Beach Boys, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and Otis Redding, and that's just the tip of the musical iceberg. And now, more than 30 years after getting started, the band is back together, playing and rocking out like the 60's never did -- and never will -- stop. Herb Gross and The Invictas play July 26 as part of the Garden Vibes series at the George Eastman House. This is classic rock played by quality musicians who actually lived through the days before it became "classic" -- and don't forget to do "The Hump." The full 2012 Garden Vibes schedule includes Matuto on July 12, Hypnotic Clambake on August 9, and Brave Combo on August 23. Concerts start at 6 p.m. in the Eastman House garden and tickets cost $12. The Eastman House is located at 900 East Ave. For more information call 271-3361 or visit eastmanhouse.org. (WC)

Friday, July 27

COMEDY: Go out for some drinks and some laughs at The Comedy Club in Webster. SyracuseUniversity alum and VH1 commentary veteran Marianne Sierk takes the stage July 26-28. Other comics coming to town this summer include former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Chris Kattan (August 9-11), regular "Opie & Anthony" contributor Joe DeRosa (July 12-14), and Robert Kelly (June 21-23), who has appeared in numerous films and television shows including "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn" and the Tourgasm comedy tour alongside Dane Cook, Gary Gulman, and Jay Davis. In addition, The Comedy Club offers a comedy class where you can learn how to be a stand-up comedian, and open mic 'showcases' for those that are itching to get up on stage and show what they've got. The Comedy Club is located at 2235 Empire Blvd., Webster. For more information check out thecomedyclub.us or call 671-9080. (TR)

Saturday, July 28

MUSIC: If you haven't heard the local Beatles cover band Mr. Mustard, perhaps it's about time you played a little catch up. There's a reason The Beatles remain a household name, and if you want to hear your favorite tunes from the Fab Four played right here in town, Mr. Mustard is the way to go. The band will be playing July 28 as part of Lovin Cup's Sound Source Stage series, Saturday night concerts on the venue's outdoor stage. Other highlights for the series include Celtic rockers Enter the Haggis on June 20,and Lovin' Cup's 4-Year Anniversary Party on August 25. Concerts start at 8 p.m.Lovin' Cup is located at 300 Park Point Drive, near RIT. For more information visit lovincup.com. (WC)

Sunday, July 29

FESTIVAL: If your experience with Native American culture begins with biased Western films and ends with dusty museum exhibits, visit Ganondagan State Historic Site (1488 State Route 444, Victor) immediately and learn firsthand from site interpreters about Haudenosaunee culture in our region. A great opportunity to learn more, the Native American Dance & Music Festival will take place Saturday-Sunday, July 28-29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at Ganondagan. The festival features a wide range of Native American traditional dancers, musicians, storytellers, artists, as well as workshops for children and adults, interpreted programs in the Visitor's Center and Bark Longhouse, guided trail walks, and the family drum jam. Admission to the festival is $5-$12, free to Friends of Ganondagan members and kids age 2 and under. For questions, call 742-1690; more details are available at ganondagan.org. (RR)

Monday, July 30

RECREATION: I am not remotely a sports fan, but for some reason I become obsessed every two years when the Olympics grace my TV screen. This summer the XXX Olympic Games will be taking place July 27-August 12 in London. Take the opportunity to throw an Olympics-themed party for your friends. Sure, you've missed the July 27 opening ceremonies (love the parade of nations!), but there's plenty going on July 30. Archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, fencing, men's gymnastics (yes!), tennis, table tennis, water polo, and weightlifting, are all on the schedule (although god knows what NBC and its affiliates will be showing). Invite people to bring various event-related dishes to pass (diver scallops, perhaps; or bullseye cookies for archery), tune in to see what Bob Costas and the rest of the crew have to say, and either marvel at the thrill of victory or revel in the agony of defeat. For more information visit london2012.com or nbcolympics.com. (ER)

Tuesday, July 31

RECREATION: Act like an animal tonight at SenecaPark Zoo. On Tuesdays throughout the summer the zoo has extended hours until 6:30 p.m. so families can spend more time interacting and learning about the wild world around us. In addition to the tigers, polar bears, reptiles, and other regular attractions, throughout the week the zoo offers a large assortment of programs, eight per day from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., one starting every half hour. Shows include "Close Encounters of the Bird Kind" as well as the ever-entertaining elephant baths and otter training shows. A new exhibit to the zoo this summer is "A Step Into Africa," featuring elephants, baboons, and the new lion exhibit that you can experience via the a stationary double-ducker tour bus. The zoo also offers a variety of special events, including the popular Zoo Brews (June 22, July 20, August 10), with live music and beer tastings. Seneca Park Zoo is located at 2222 Saint Paul St. The zoo is open daily 10 a.m.-4 p.m., and admission costs $7-$10. For more information check out senecaparkzoo.org or call 336-7200. (TR)


Wednesday, August 1

MUSIC: Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack in Farmington has a free summer concert series, and on August 1 80's heartthrob Rick Springfield takes the stage. Other shows include Eddie Money (June 27) and Little River Band (July 18). All three acts have found significant mainstream success with several songs (chief among them: "Jessie's Girl" by Springfield and "Take Me Home Tonight" by Money) which still receive regular airplay. Concerts start at 7 p.m., gates at 6:30 p.m. Tickets to the shows are free, and the shows are held outside in the covered grandstand. While waiting for the show to begin (or looking to unwind after the show ends), try your luck at one of the 1200 slot machines and other touch-screen games spread out over the casino's air-conditioned gaming area. Finger Lakes Casino is open daily 9 a.m.-4 a.m. For more information check out fingerlakesracetrack.com or call 924-3232. (TR)

Thursday, August 2

MUSIC: Hopefully, this concert series catches your eye long before the August 2 date. The Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series kicks off full-tilt on June 7 with Thunder Body, and continues on Thursdays at the noon hour through August 16. On August 2, the featured musician will be Gabe Condon on the jazz guitar, a Downbeat Magazine Outstanding Performance Award winner who has been performing in shows since he was 10. The final concert on August 16 features Rochester's favorite Po' Boys Brass Band, which delights with horns a blarin'. These free concerts take place at 12:10 p.m. at GraniteMillsPark, 104 Platt St. in HighFalls (rain location: Center at HighFalls ballroom). The instructions are to BYOC (bring your own chair), but with this much up-tempo, how will anyone stay in his seat? For more information call 454-4596 or visit Hochstein.org. (PC)

Friday, August 3

MUSIC: How should one properly measure Wilco's influence? The countless Gammy nominations, and winnings? The scores of alternative-rock bands it has inspired? Regardless of how you want to slice it, legendary alternative rockers Wilco make its way to Rochester on August 3 for one of the most talked-about concerts of the season. The show starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Highland Bowl (off South Avenue). Tickets cost $44.50-$49.50 -- that is, if you're lucky, and some still exist (as of press time the show had yet to sell out). Plan accordingly: no on-street parking provided for the event, so make sure to get there early and be ready for the rock. Lee Ranalda Band (of Sonic Youth) opens. For more information on the show visit rochesterevents.com. (WC)

Saturday, August 4

CLASSICAL: Every-other year since 1997, talented young pianists arrive in Rochester from points around the globe to compete in the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition. This year the competition takes place July 28-August 4, and participants hail from the United States, China, Italy, Costa Rica, Japan, Korea, Canada, and Russia. Two years ago, the finals were a high-energy affair, more engaging than any of those mega-hyped TV music and dance competitions. The 24 participants compete in two preliminary rounds, a performance master class, and the final round on August 4. The top three prizes are significant: a medal, a cash award, and a full-tuition scholarship to attend the Eastman School of Music. Various additional prizes are awarded, ranging from "Best Performance of a Work from the Romantic Period" to "Best Performance of a French or Russian Work." The final concert takes place at XX p.m. at the HochsteinSchool of Music & Dance (50 N. Plymouth Ave.); admission is free. You might think the event is a good excuse to catch some air-conditioning, but you'll be fanning yourself with your program as the temperature rises during this riveting event. For more information 473-2234 or visit ESM.Rochester.edu/pianocomp. (PC)

Sunday, August 5

FESTIVAL: It's the final day for the 2012 Park Avenue Summer Art Fest. One of those defining events of summer in Rochester, the Park Ave Fest brings out thousands of people to stroll up and down the Park Avenue business corridor from Alexander Street to Culver Road. The neighborhood merchants get a chance to show off their wares. Live performances dot the festival route. Vendors line the streets with all manner of arts and crafts and food and drink. And you certainly can't beat the people watching on a sunny afternoon - I always run into people I haven't seen for months, every single year. The Park Ave Fest takes place August 4 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and August 5 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. Note that on-street parking rules in the neighborhood are altered during the event, and a shuttle service is provided for $1. Check park-avenue.org or call 244-0951 for more details. (ER)

Monday, August 6

ART: This August, art lovers can view the art works of art supporters at the "Members Showcase 2012," held at the Arts & Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.). Members of the Council were invited to submit artwork in all manner of media for the show, and selected artwork will be exhibited and juried by regional distinguished panelists, including Louis Grachos, Director of Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; Steven Kern, Executive Director of Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse; and Stephan Stoyanov, Founder of Stephan Stoyanov Gallery in New York City. The exhibition will run August 3-30, with a reception and awards ceremony on August 3, 5-9 p.m. The Arts & Cultural Council's gallery is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information call 473-4000 or visit artsrochester.org. (RR)

Tuesday, August 7

LIT: Take your reading list out for a drink as The Little plays host to "Authors Aloud" in the café on August 7. This series is in conjunction with "Writers & Books," Rochester's community literacy center, and features two to three local authors reading their works aloud and discussing their current projects. The event is free (although you'll have to pay for those drinks for you and your book...), and will take place 8-9 p.m. in the Little Café. Come back to the Little throughout the summer for other special events, such as screenings of documentaries "The Heist" (June 11-12) and "One Take: Stories Through the Lens" (June 13), plus the New York Filmmakers Quarterly -- showcasing of the best short films made in New York -- on July 25 and July 28. Of course, there's always something going on at Rochester's independent and foreign film house, so make sure to check thelittle.org or call 258-0444 for film and event schedules. The Little is located at 240 East Ave. (AR)

Wednesday, August 8

CLASSICAL: It's opening night for the 2012 Skaneateles Festival, this year running August 8-September 1. The key to understanding the wealth of concert offerings during this festival is that each one of the four weeks of the festival has a theme. For 2012, Week 1 is "Bach and Beyond," with an emphasis on the Baroque. Week 2 is "We Shall Overcome," with programming as diverse as spirituals arranged for wind quartet and Barber's "Adagio for Strings." Week 3 is "Tickling the Ivories" for those with a love affair with the keyboard, from piano to organ to harpsichord to accordion. And Week 4 is "Just Stringing You Along," with performances including the East Coast Chamber Orchestra in Dvorak's "Serenade for Strings." The Co-Artistic Directors of the Skaneateles Festival are David Ying (of the Ying Quartet) and Elinor Freer, whose own musical careers are assets to attracting renowned talent to an idyllic setting. Concerts take place at various venues throughout Skaneateles, just west of Syracuse. For a schedule of concerts, ticket information, and more, call 315-685-7418 or visit skanfest.org. (PC)

Thursday, August 9

MUSIC: If you have TV- or music-loving tweens, August 9 is your chance to be their hero by taking them to see Big Time Rush and Cody Simpson perform at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. Big Time Rush is essentially a 21st century answer to The Monkees. It's a boy band that was created for the Nickelodeon show of the same name. It's harmless fun, the group's tunes are catchy, and my 6-year-old niece just loves it. Cody Simpson is a teenaged Aussie pop singer who was born after you probably graduated high school, so choke that one down for a minute. The show begins at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $20-$79.50. Also performing at Darien Lakes PAC this summer are Drake (June 8), The Beach Boys (June 29), Dave Matthews Band (July 3), Iron Maiden (July 16), Brad Paisley with The Band Perry and Scotty McCreery (August 11), and Def Leppard (August 17), among many others. Darien Lake is located about an hour west of Rochester in Darien Center. For more information and a full schedule of acts visit livenation.com. (ER)

Friday, August 10

FESTIVAL: Head out for the final East End Festival of the year. One Friday per month in the summer -- this year it will be June 1, July 13, and August 10 -- the East Avenue business corridor comes alive with tons of live music, vendors, and more. And, there's a VIP experience package, giving you access to the necessities: food, drink, parking, and perhaps the most important of all during a busy music festival: separate bathroom access. Acts for the July and August dates had not been released by press time, but keep an eye on City for the full lineup once it becomes available. For more information visit eastendmusicfestival.com. (WC)

Saturday, August 11

SPORTS: I don't care what most American sports fans say: soccer is a sport, and if you have ever watched or played a game, you know that it can get pretty competitive. The Rochester Rhinos are three-time division and U.S. Open champs. The team continues its 2012 season August 11 with a 7 p.m. showdown with the Charleston Battery. All Rhinos home games take place Sahlen's Stadium (460 Oak St.). Tickets range from $17 to $30. For more information and tickets visit rhinossoccer.com. (AS)

Sunday, August 12

RECREATION: Take a walk through history with one of the weekly guided tours of Mt. Hope Cemetery. During this leisurely two-hour walk you'll learn about famous Rochesterians buried on the sprawling, stunning property, such as Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. The tour also will discuss horticulture, geology, physical geography, architecture, and symbolism found in the cemetery, and other topics. Regular tours take place every Sunday at 2 p.m. at 791 Mount Hope Ave., at the North Cemetery entrance, opposite Robinson Drive. The tour is free and open to the public. Friends of Mt. Hope will put on several tours throughout the summer, including specialty tours. These include "Jewish Roots" (June 24), "Mischief, Murder and Mayhem" (August 10), and "Ice Cream Tour" (August 18). Though regular tours are free, the specialty tours cost $5. To learn more, visit fomh.org or call 461-3494. (AR)

Monday, August 13

RECREATION: Get on the water with an afternoon boat ride. If you spend your summer staring out your office window, wishing you were out on the water, you're in luck. Corn Hill Navigation offers short cruises throughout the day, so even an afternoon away from the office can be spent relaxing on a boat. Corn Hill Navigation operates the Sam Patch packet boat (it launches from Schoen Place in Pittsford) and the Mary Jemison (cruising the Genesee from Corn Hill Landing). The company offers a variety of specialty cruises, plus daily 75-minute cruises starting at noon (take a long lunch break!), or 90-minute cruises throughout the afternoon. Each cruise offers food and beverage on-board (including a bar), so you can enjoy a cocktail while getting some sun and fresh air. For more information, including boat-specific schedules, check out samandmary.org or call 662-5748. (TR)

Tuesday, August 14

RECREATION: Take a tour of the historic gardens at the George Eastman House. Every Tuesday-Sunday from May through September you can get a docent-led tour of the beautiful gardens surrounding the property owned by Mr. Eastman himself from 1905 to 1932. In June, July, and August the tours will be offered at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. The tours are included in museum admission, so you should really make a day of it and check out the exhibits running this summer at the photography museum. Through September 16 you can find "See: Untold Stories," images taken from the Eastman House collections ranging from early advertising photos to intimate shots of Marilyn Monroe to Ansel Adams' nature imagery; as well as "Ballyhoo: The Art of Selling the Movies." Running June 29-October 26 is "Ideas in Things," a show of images that serve as cultural artifacts, featuring the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, Chuck Close, and others. The museum is located at 900 East Ave. It is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission costs $5-$12. For more information visit 271-3361 or visit eastmanhouse.org. (ER)

Wednesday, August 15

MUSIC: See your favorites from the recently wrapped eleventh season with the American Idol Live Tour tonight at Blue Cross Arena. I'm writing this just after watching the first night of the finale, with Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez both doing themselves proud in a night of terrific singing. No matter which one of them wins, I think we can all agree that Season 11 was absolutely packed with talent, with one of the strongest Top 6 line-ups in the show's history. The Idols Live Tour includes the entire Top 10. So if you're still pissed that emo-rocker Colton Dixon got sent home relatively early, or are still flummoxed that gospel/r'n'b powerhouse Joshua Ledet didn't make the Final 2, now's your chance to put your money where your angry Facebook comments were. Personally I'm excited to see Sanchez, bluesy rockers Erika Van Pelt and Elise Testone, and country darling Skylar Laine. It really was a strong line-up of women this season. The show starts at 7 p.m.; tickets cost $29.50-$65. For more information visit bluecrossarena.com. Note that the Blue Cross's other major summer show, Van Halen on July 17, has been cancelled. (ER)

Thursday, August 16

FESTIVAL: Every August, the St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church opens its doors for the Rochester Ukrainian Festival. The festival is filled with Ukrainian arts and crafts, food, music, and dance. Vendors display traditional arts and crafts like ceramics, embroidery, and colorful Easter eggs. Why not try a "varenyky" (potato and cheese dumpling), "holubtsi" (stuffed cabbage rolls), or a "kovbasa" (Ukrainian sausage)? On Saturday and Sunday, there are performances at 3 and 6 p.m., and every evening there will be music for dancing. The 2012 Rochester Ukrainian Festival takes place August 16-19 at 940 E. Ridge Road. Admission is free; for more information call 266-2255 or visit RochesterUkranianFestival.com. But this is only one of the many cultural festivals that go on during the summer in Rochester. Among the plethora of other ethnic celebrations are the Puerto Rican Festival (July 20-22), Macedonian Ethnic Festival (July 20-22), Polish Arts Festival (August 3-4), African/African American Festival (August 4), German Fest (August 10-12), and Carifest (August 11). (PC)

Friday, August 17

MUSIC: Every Rochesterian loves the Public Market, but not everybody can get up early on Thursdays, Saturdays, and the occasional Sundays to take advantage of it. The Public Market's Night Market and Bands on the Bricks series combine the unique experience of shopping at the Public Market (except now at night, for you night owls and lazy risers) and musical concerts. This year's lineup includes Latin Night on July 13, Changes in Latitudes on July 27, and Donna the Buffalo on August 3. As of press time the full line-up had yet to be announced; keep an eye on City's website for the full performance schedule as soon as it becomes available. The Public Market is located at 280 N. Union St. Bands on Bricks/Night Markets run 5-10 p.m. on Fridays July 6-August 24. Admission is free. For more information visit cityofrochester.gov/nightmarkets. (WC)

Saturday, August 18

FESTIVAL: Wedgestock, the annual celebration of the South Wedge neighborhood, takes place on SAugust 18, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and features neighborhood arts, music, food, and of course the beloved pet parade. Head down to South Avenue, where between Gregory Street and Averill Avenue, the neighborhood and residents from greater Rochester alike will turn out to hear bands and DJs, set the kids loose in an activity zone, enjoy arts & crafts vendors, street performers, and indulge in food and drink from local shops. Attendance to the festival is free of charge, but if you want to participate as a vendor or in the pet parade, registration is required. For more information, call 503-4848, or visit wedgestock.org. (RR)

Sunday, August 19

ART: Head out to Arts at the Gardens, the two-day juried fine art & craft festival held at beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park (151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua), taking place August 18-19. The show will feature paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, glass, woodwork, photography, and more by 100 talented artists, chosen from a national pool of applicants. Don't forget to visit the budding artists' tent, to check out emerging talents. In addition to viewing and purchasing art, visitors can purchase beverages from the wine center/beer garden, procure food, and enjoy music by That There Dirt, Abe's Lily, Brian Burley and Harvey Possemato, and Hayley Miller. A kids' tent will offer creative activities. Admission to the show is $6 and includes access to the mansion and gardens. For more information, visit artsatthegardens.org. (RR)

Sunday, August 19

RECREATION: Do you have a bike that's just taking up space in the garage? It's time to dust it off and go for a bike ride. If you're not sure where to take your wheels, look into the Rochester Bicycling Club. This is an organization that's dedicated to promoting cycling as both a healthy activity and a way to meet new people. Membership includes a ride schedule, ride calendar, and bimonthly newsletters, among other perks. There are group rides every Saturday and Sunday from mid-March through mid-November, with more than 350 different mapped routes in all. The group is a "touring" group, meaning that any skill level is welcome, with different rides designed to allow for people of similar ability to meet and ride together. Time trials are offered during the summer, if you're inclined to try and improve your speed throughout the year, while Slow and Easy rides cap out at around 20 miles, a good distance for a recreational bicyclist or even a newcomer. Membership is only $20 a year. For more information, check out rochesterbicyclingclub.org. (TR)

Tuesday, August 21

RECREATION: You may not be able to go out and practice your best "Happy Gilmore" impression, and the oft-mowed courses of the country clubs can be a little pricey -- and who wants to wear polos, anyway? But that's not to say that you can't have a blast on the greens. Tonight is a perfect opportunity to round up some friends and play a couple rounds of miniature golf. Rochester is home to several mini-golf courses. Consider Whispering Pines (4083 Culver Road), a nationally recognized historic location and the oldest operating, unaltered miniature-golf course in the country. Other options include Adventure Landing (3340 West Ridge Road) or Clubhouse Fun Center (70 Jay Scutti Blvd.). No matter where you putt, just remember to yell "Fore!" -- BY WILLIE CLARK

Wednesday, August 22

CLASSICAL: Tonight, drive down to Canandaigua, have dinner at the Bristol Harbour Resort, and stay for a "Classical Blue Jeans" concert with Juliana Athayde, concertmaster for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mike Block, cello. It's just one offering of the Canandaigua Lake Music Festival, this year running August 15-26. The festival offers a smorgasbord of musicians, venues, and productions to satisfy your summer taste for classical music. Co-artistic directors Ed Klorman and Amy Sue Barston are part of the fresh energy pulsing through classical, and they bring the best of the modern classical musicians to our scenic region. Other concerts include "L'Invitation au Voyage" (August 19) with works like Ravel's "Chansons madécasses" and the prose poems of ÉvaristeParney and Joseph Marx's "DurchEinsamkeiten" ("Through lonely places"). Another notable concert is titled "Dvorak's Fire" (August 26) with works including Romanian Folk Dances of BélaBartók. For more information on the festival, including schedule and ticket info, call 454-4596 or visit LakeMusicFestival.org. (PC)

Thursday, August 23

RECREATION: Pick up some fresh, local produce and other homegrown products at the South Wedge Farmers Market. The Market - which runs 4-7 p.m. every Thursday, June 7 to October 18 - is home to some interesting items you might not be able to find elsewhere, with a focus on local and sustainable farming (all of the vendors are within 100 miles of Rochester). New vendors this year include maple syrup and other maple products by Wohlschlegel's Naples Maple Farm, and mushrooms, cage-free eggs, and unusual fruits like goji berries and currants from Flowed Land Permaculture in Hilton. The South Wedge Farmers Market is located behind Boulder Coffee at 100 Alexander St.; for more information visit swfarmersmarket.org. Bear in mind it's only one of many area farmers markets. Irondequoit and Brighton have their own, as do city neighborhoods like Monroe Village and the 19th Ward. Take the opportunity to check them all out this summer. (ER)

Friday, August 24

RECREATION: Looking for a truly adult way to spend Friday night? The National Museum of Play at the Strong is open late on Fridays and Saturdays, allowing even the oldest of adults to rediscover their inner child. Throw rolls of tokens into arcade cabinets trying to beat the original "Gauntlet," or reminisce about the totems from your misspent youth now ensconced in the National Toy Hall of Fame. The "American Comic Book Heroes" exhibit allows you to test your super-hero mettle, and for the outdoorsy nature types, the Dancing Wing Butterfly Garden is the only year-round indoor butterfly garden in Upstate New York. And the museum's food court is loaded with playtime-friendly options like Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and an ice-cream shop. Who said growing old means having to give up fun anyway? The museum is located at 1 Manhattan Square. Operating hours are Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Admission costs $11-$13 (additional charge for the butterfly garden). For more information call 263-2700 or visit museumofplay.org. (WC)

Saturday, August 25

SPORTS: You don't have to spend big bucks on big-league games to see great football. Spend August 25 at East High cheering on the Monroe County Sting as they tackle the Montreal Voyageurs. This semi-professional football team has been around since 1996, and has won three national championships. The non-profit team is made up entirely of local players. The team's season starts in July, so get out and feel the sting early. For game results and the team's complete schedule, visit monroecountysting.com. (KL)

Sunday, August 26

FILM: Spend a late-summer Sunday afternoon exploring deep space or the Earth's terrain. Throughout the summer the Strasenburgh Planetarium will be showing its first animated, giant-screen film, "Fly Me to the Moon." The film combines an Apollo 11-like mission with three teenage animated flies that go on an adventure in outer space. That's just one of the offerings of the planetarium, an arm of the Rochester Museum & Science Center. You can also take a look into the depths of volcanoes in the film "Ring of Fire," or head out on Saturday nights for the regular laser-light shows in which pop/rock songs are paired with choreographed lasers on the inner surface of the planetariums dome. The Planetarium is located next door to the RMSC, 657 East Ave. For a full schedule and ticket information visit rmsc.com/strasenburghplanetarium or call 271-4320. (AR)

Monday, August 27

THEME PARK: The end of August means chronic, sticky late-summer heat from sun up to sundown. Why not plan a day trip to Roseland Waterpark in Canandaigua and beat the high temps? Roseland is conveniently located for those looking to escape the suffocating city, but not spend all day in the car, and its compact size makes the park easy to navigate while offering plenty of cool and wet ways to have fun. Aside from a wave pool and water slides, Roseland also offers attractions that won't require the use of a swimsuit, like Pepsi tastings and magic shows. But by late August, who wouldn't want to get in the water? If you can't make it on Monday, no worries; throughout the summer Roseland offers all kinds of alternative activities, like chair massages (alternate Mondays), a free Zumba class on Fridays, as well as a variety of theme days. Roseland Waterpark is located at 250 Eastern Boulevard in Canandaigua. Tickets range from $7.95 to $24.95, depending on height and age. Check out roselandwaterpark.com or call396-2000 for more information on the various activities planned and hours of operation. (TR)

Tuesday, August 28

THEATER: Tonight is one of your last chances to check out a show in one of the most ambitious summer theater programs, as "Cabaret" plays as part of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. This is the first year for the Auburn-based festival. Regional theater fans have been aware of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse for years. Leaders from that organization and other civic and business groups came up with the idea to expand the MGR musical-theater offerings into three other venues, the Auburn Public Theater, Theater Mack at the Cayuga Museum, and the Schwartz Family Performing Arts Center. The focus is squarely on musicals, with the theme "On, Off, and Beyond Broadway." Other shows this season include "My Fair Lady" (July 25-August 15), "Altar Boyz" (June 6-30), "9 to 5: The Musical" (June 27-July 18), and the wonderful "My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding," which played at the JCC a few years back. For more information on the Musical Theatre Festival visit fingerlakesmtf.com. (ERIC)

Wednesday, August 29

MUSIC: Just because it's still summer doesn't mean it's too early to celebrate Oktoberfest. Rochester's own Krazy Firemen have been performing for three decades, bringing the oom-pah-pah and brass-band sounds of Germany right to your own backyard. Part marching band, part rock and roll group, and even a little bit country, the Krazy Firemen do it all. And the group has a tuba, so you know it's all business. Wear some lederhosen, practice your best German, and most of all, expect it to get krazy when the Firemen play the Concerts by the Shore series at Ontario Beach Park (Lake Avenue in Charlotte). The series runs Wednesday throughout the summer, June 6-August 29, with free concerts at 7 p.m., plus all of the other amenities of Ontario Beach Park at your disposal. Other Concerts by the Shore season highlights include the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (June 27), Ruby Shooz (August 29), and Brass Taxi (July 11). For more information on the series and the park visit monroecounty.gov/parks-ontariobeach.php. (WC)

Thursday, August 30

RECREATION: Break out the sunscreen and go for a swim. The weather will soon grow cold, so this may be your last chance. Rochester has a few community pools. Among them are Adams Street Community Center & Pool (85 Adams St.) and the Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex (131 Elmwood Ave.). Fees and swimming schedules vary, so get the details at cityofrochester.gov. Or grab your flip-flops, beach towel, and feel the sand beneath your feet by heading to Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte or Durand Eastman Beach on Lakeshore Boulevard. Once the beaches open for the summer, operating hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Note that the beaches are sometimes closed to environmental issues; be sure to check the water conditions by calling 753-5887. (AR)

Friday, August 31

NIGHTLIFE: It's the last weekend of the summer. Grab your friends and go dancing at one of Rochester's nightclubs. It's impossible to mention all of the local clubs in such a small space, but among the big ones are Tilt Nightclub and Ultralounge (444 Central Ave.), where you'll find a large space with an outdoor courtyard, lounge, and dance floor. The party is 18 and over, and you'll find local drag entertainers Thursday and Friday nights, and other special events fairly regularly. In the East End you'll find both Heat Nightclub (336 East Ave., 899-0620) and One (1 Ryan Alley, oneryan.com). Both of these establishments have large dance floors, DJs, and some swanky outdoor patios. If you're looking for dancing with a different flare, try Tapas 177 (177 St. Paul St., 262-2090, tapas177.com). This bar and restaurant transforms every Thursday into a salsa dancing class 9:30-11 p.m., and on Saturday nights you can find live Latin bands. Remember, those are only a few local dance-club opportunities. If we missed your favorite post it in the comments section of this article at rochestercitynewspaper.com. (AR)

Saturday, September 1

FESTIVAL: I grew up outside of Syracuse, so going to the New York State Fair was part of our annual "vacation package." If you've never been, take today as an opportunity to head to the State Fairgrounds just west of Syracuse for the 2012 fair, running August 23-September 3. The State Fair is like your town festival or street fair on crystal meth. The fairgrounds are enormous. The food booths are actual booths, and include some pretty out-there offerings (wine slushies were popular a few years ago, and there's always some new fried offering to both tempt your taste buds and wreak havoc on your cholesterol). There are multiple sprawling midways. Huge buildings filled with legitimately cool exhibits and displays. And the entertainment line-up is impressive. The bulk of the Grandstand shows have yet to be announced, but the free Chevy Court stage has gotten a major upgrade, with shows by Neon Trees (August 23), Victoria Justice (August 29), Mike Posner (August 30), and other relevant acts joining some older cats. Admission to the fair is $10 per day. For more information visit nysfair.org. (ER)

Sunday, September 2

FESTIVAL: You might be familiar with the "giant breakfast sandwich" sign outside of Juan & Maria's Empanada Stop at the Public Market. But this establishment cooks much more than breakfast foods, specializing in a variety of Spanish delicacies. The Empanda Stop will be sponsoring the Spanish International Festival on September 2, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., where you can get a taste of international cuisine. All 20 Spanish-speaking countries, plus Brazil, will be represented. Juan & Maria's is located at the Public Market, 280 N. Union St. For more information visit juanandmarias.com or call 325-6650. (AR)

Monday, September 3

RECREATION: It's Labor Day, which means it's time to put away the shorts and flip-flops, and start thinking about pulling out the sweaters and coats -- but not before throwing one last hurrah. Summer is about the simple joys of life, and the best way to say farewell to the season is to throw a breezy backyard cookout. Spice up the usual hots and hamburgers with some killer starters, side dishes and desserts. Try hollowing out some jalapenos and stuffing them with pepper jack cheese. Fold up in an aluminum-foil packet with some olive oil and toss on the grill for a few minutes for a quick and spicy snack. Add some excitement to corn on the cobb by brushing with melted butter, sprinkling with your favorite cheese, and grilling them in foil.For dessert, try a banana boat. Slice a banana down the center and fill with chocolate chips, peanut butter, or even marshmallows. Wrap in tin foil and warm on hot coals for 10 to 15 minutes. The result is warm, gooey, and delicious. Or grab your favorite summer fruit and warm it up on the grill. It's a pretty sweet way to end any summer. (KL)

In This Guide...

    SUMMER GUIDE '12: Thrills

    Feel the rush: Thrill-seeker road trips guaranteed to add excitement to your summer
    BY MICHELLE INCLEMA The lazy, hazy days of summer are back.

    SUMMER GUIDE '12: Audiobook guide

    Reading on the road: On your next trip, forego the music and embrace audio books
    So you're taking a trip involving hours in a car, bus, train, or plane. The songs on your iPod are getting old and radio just isn't what it used to be.

    SUMMER GUIDE '12: Summer Movies

    Beyond Batman: Thoughtful summer flicks to counter the barrage of would-be blockbusters
    So here's how it works: I peruse the list of summer releases, then spotlight the ones that pique my curiosity. Sure, it's completely arbitrary, but since I'm never the only person in the theater, I have to assume others are interested in these flicks as well.

    SUMMER GUIDE '12: Monroe County Parks

    Go green: Make the most of summer by exploring the Monroe County parks system
    BY ALEX STEINGRABER The Monroe County Parks Department has a stellar line-up of parks that offer guests plenty of amenities, fresh air, and natural fun.

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