Special Sections » Annual Manual

Where's the party?


Lakeside Winter Celebration

Date: February

Place: OntarioBeachPark

Description: snow and ice sculpture contests, Chili Challenge, Polar Plunge

Info: 865-3320

St. Patrick's Day Parade

Date: March

Place: downtown

Description: parade, family festival

Info: www.rochesterparade.com

Lilac Festival

Dates: May 12-21

Place: Highland Park

Description: 500 varieties of lilacs, live music, activities, food

Info: 456-3070, www.lilacfestival.com

Memorial Day Parade

Date: May 29

Place: downtown

Description: parade

Info: 473-0710

Greek Festival

Dates: June 1-4

Place: Greek Orthodox Church, East Avenue

Description: food, dancing, shopping, history, cultural presentations

Info: 244-3377, www.rochestergreekfestival.com

FairportCanal Days

Dates: June 2-4

Place: Main Street, Fairport

Description: arts and crafts, food, music, family activities

Info: www.fairportcanaldays.com

East End Night Life Festivals

Dates: June 2, July 14, August 11

Place: East End entertainment district

Description: bars, clubs and restaurants open onto the street, lots of music and beer

Info: 234-0630

Rochester International Jazz Festival

Dates: June 9-17

Place: 15 venues throughout city

Description: Over 70 concerts, thousands of fans, international acts

Info: 234-2002, www.rochesterjazz.com

Maplewood Rose Festival

Dates: June 17-18

Place: MaplewoodPark

Description: roses, Genesee Gorge tours, live music, arts and crafts

Info: 428-6770, www.ggw.org/~mna/rose.htm

Spencerport Firemen's Carnival

Dates: June 18

Place: Spencerport

Description: kiddie parade, grand parade, amusement rides

Info: 352-4771, vil.spencerport.ny.us

RochesterHarbor and Carousel Festival

Dates: June 23-25

Place: OntarioBeachPark

Description: arts and crafts, food, activities, music

Info: 865-3320, www.cityofrochester.gov

Sterling Renaissance Festival

Dates: weekends, July 1-August 13

Place: Sterling, NY

Description: food, drink, street performances, crafts, games --- all olde school

Info: 800-879-4446, sterlingfestival.com

Brockport Merchants Sidewalk Sale and Street Fair

Dates: July 6-8

Place: Main Street, Brockport

Description: shopping, entertainment, food

Info: 637-3340

Gay Pride Celebration

Dates: July 8-9

Place: various, including GeneseeValleyPark

Description: Upstate New York's largest, with a big picnic and Pride Parade

Info: www.gayalliance.org

Corn Hill Arts Festival

Dates: July 8-9

Place: Corn Hill neighborhood

Description: hundreds of craftspeople, live music, family events, food

Info: 262-3142, www.cornhill.org

Monroe County Fair

Dates: July 12-16

Place: MonroeCountyFairgrounds, East Henrietta Road

Description: agricultural exhibits, animals, rides, food

Info: 334-4000, www.mcfair.com

Hill Cumorah Pageant

Dates: July 14-22

Place: Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra

Description: theatrical retelling of the Book of Mormon, cast of 600, pyrotechnics

Info: 315-597-5851, www.hillcumorah.org/Pageant


Dates: July 15-16

Place: TBA, historically GeneseeValleyPark

Description: outdoor r&b concerts, local and national acts

Info: 486-1286, www.rochestermusicfest.com

SpencerportCanal Days

Dates: July 29-30

Place: arts and crafts, entertainment, food, canoe race

Description: along the Erie Canal, Spencerport

Info: 349-1331, www.ogdenny.com/canaldays

Penfield Country Fair Days

Dates: August

Place: Penfield's Four Corners

Description: arts and crafts, entertainment, food

Info: 340-8651, www.penfield.org

Park Avenue Festival

Dates: August 5-6

Place: Park Avenue

Description: arts & crafts, live entertainment, food, family activities

Info: www.rochesterevents.com

Puerto Rican Festival

Dates: August 11-13

Place: downtown Rochester

Description: Latino music, food, and culture celebration

Info: www.prfestival.com


Dates: August 12

Place: HighFalls festival site

Description: Caribbean-themed festival, parade

Info: 254-7569

Brockport Summer Art Festival

Dates: August 12-13

Place: Main Street, Brockport

Description: arts and crafts, food, live music, rubber duck derby, dragon boat races

Info: www.rochesterevents.com

Northeast Naturist Festival

Dates: August 8-13

Place: EmpireHavenNudistPark

Description: workshops, sports, dances, spiritual activities

Info: 877-522-9188, www.naturistrochester.org

Clarissa StreetReunion

Dates: August 19

Place: Clarissa and surrounding streets

Description: neighborhood reunion, parade, jazz, gospel, and r&b performances

Info: 234-4177

New YorkState Festival of Balloons

Dates: September 1-3

Place: Dansville

Description: hot air balloon rides, food, entertainment, music, kids' rides

Info: www.nysfob.com

Spanish International Festival

Date: September 3

Place: Public Market

Description: presentations on Spanish-speaking countries, food, culture, music

Info: 303-1290, www.empanadastop.com

Labor Day Parade

Date: September 4

Place: downtown Rochester

Description: parade

Info: 263-2650

Rochester Irish Festival

Dates: September 8-10

Place: CampEastman, DurandEastmanPark

Description: Irish music, dance, cultural workshops, kids' activities

Info: www.rochesteririshfestival.org

Clothesline Festival

Dates: September 9-10

Place: MemorialArtGallery

Description: renowned arts and crafts; MAG's biggest fundraiser

Info: 473-7720, mag.rochester.edu


Dates: September 15-17, 22-24

Place: CampEastman, DurandEastmanPark

Description: echt Deutsch music, dancing, food, beer

Info: 336-6070, www.irondequoit.org/events/oktober.htm


Date: September 17

Place: downtown

Description: 2nd year of the race's comeback

Info: 264-1480

Festival of Food

Dates: September 18

Place: Public Market

Description: samples from area restaurants, wineries, farmers, specialty food sellers

Info: www.festivaloffood.org

Naples Grape Festival

Dates: September 23-24

Place: Naples, NY

Description: grape pie contest, arts and crafts, family entertainment, live music

Info: 374-2240, www.naplesvalleyny.com

Harvest Jamboree and Country Fair

Date: September 25

Place: Public Market

Description: seasonal produce, hayrides, entertainment

Info: 428-6755, www.cityofrochester.gov

Hilton Apple Festival

Dates: September 30-October 1

Place: Hilton

Description: arts and crafts, car show, apple wares, pie contest

Info: 234-3378, www.hiltonapplefest.org

RochesterRiver Romance

Dates: October 6-8

Place: various, including OntarioBeachPark

Description: entertainment, lighthouse and boat tours, hikes, rowing regatta

Info: 428-6770, www.cityofrochester.gov

In This Guide...

  • Take a closer look

    You could easily spend your life in Greater Rochester driving between work, home, and Wegmans. Many people do.

  • Sculptures, butterflies, and giants,oh my!

    Anyone who complains about the traffic in Rochester has never driven in Boston or New York or Cleveland or Pittsburgh. Granted, more traffic means more population and more opportunities for diversion within those metropolises.

  • Not above name dropping

    Rochester can boast a fair number of interesting citizens who continue to walk among us, but many that have shuffled off this mortal coil remain the subject of endless fascination. These former Rochesterians may not be as well known as groundbreaking giants like abolitionist Frederick Douglass, activist Susan B. Anthony, and inventor George Eastman, but their place in history is nonetheless guaranteed.

  • The way the political land lays

    Just like anyplace else, politics in Rochester are a complicated affair that, when you get right down to it, aren't really all that complicated after all. Take a bunch of ambitious, outgoing men and women, add the lust for power, sprinkle generously with cash, and voila... you've got a crazy, quirky kind of world only an American-style democracy could produce.

  • Are you there yet?

    Got kids? You've come to the right place!

  • The best parts are often hidden

    City neighborhoods
    "Cool" in Rochester is the youth-oriented Park Avenuearea, or the East End-Alexander area on a summer night, with crowds from clubs and bars spilling out onto the sidewalks. But there's lots to experience in the city.

  • Your Rochester to-do list

    Try to see what's on TV on the ceiling of the Bug Jar. Board the Mary Jemison or the Sam Patch from Corn Hill Landing.

  • Park it

    From the beautiful Seneca and Highland Parks, both designed by 19th-century landscape genius Frederick Law Olmsted, to Durand-Eastman Park, where you can feel the immensity of that Great Lake, here is just a partial list of some of our favorite parks in the Monroe County (256-4950, www.monroecounty.gov) and City of Rochester (428-6767 or 428-6755, www.cityofrochester.gov) systems. Cobbs Hill Park Culver Road and Norris Drive

  • From getting lost to finding your Irish

    Wanna work off a few pounds? Gotta burn off some work-related frustration?

  • Live and active culture

    They say you shouldn't talk religion or politics at the dinner table. Sound advice.

  • Welcome to the 'burbs

    Rochester owes much of its development and prosperity to the GeneseeRiver, which cuts a path right down the center of the city. In the early days, many of the neighborhoods in the city, as well as suburban villages, began as small settlements that depended on the river to receive and sell goods.

  • A town in the know

    One of Rochester's most important assets is its academic community. There are over a dozen centers devoted to advanced education within the Rochester-Finger Lakes-Genesee Valley Region, and they add vibrancy to the area's employment, culture, and quality of life.

  • Sporting goods

    Last year, Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal named Rochester the number one minor-league sports market in the country. The city boasts pro sports franchises that are both storied and cutting-edge, some steeped in tradition, others still growing out of their infancy.

  • Eight days a week

    You've only got seven, but there's something to do eight days a week. Monday.

  • As American as pasta e fagiole

    You can eat apple pie and hamburgers for only so long. If you're seeking ingredients to build meals in honor of your (or someone else's) culture, here's a list of some independent ethnic grocery stores.