The summer festival season in Rochester continues this weekend with the 43rd edition of the Park Ave Summer Art Fest on Saturday, Aug 3 from 10a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Aug 4. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This annual celebration of arts and culture stretches for a mile and a quarter along Park Avenue from Alexander Street to Culver Road. Every year, this part of the picturesque Park Avenue neighborhood transforms into a mecca of shopping and entertainment. Better yet, admission is completely free.
Over 350 artists, exhibitors, and craftspeople from the U.S. and Canada set up between the curb and sidewalk. With more than 40 festival food favorites adding to the already culinary-rich landscape of Park Avenue, you can easily indulge in the $7.99 billion U.S. food and drink industry. As festival-goers flood Park Avenue to visit each booth, eat as much food as possible, and go to the stages that have a rotating schedule of musicians, the street closes to vehicular traffic.
To avoid any confusion when you arrive at the festival, let’s run through the arts and entertainment that you can’t miss and take a look at how they’re handling parking and safety.
The focal point of Park Ave Fest is its mass celebration of the creative spirits local to the Rochester area. This year is no different. Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind pieces to give to your loved ones at the holidays or to decorate your own home, you won’t lack for choice at Park Ave Fest. There will be booths selling:
Pieces crafted from wood
Body care products
Fiber accessories, apparel, and crafts
And much more!
The best part of shopping at Park Ave Fest is that you’re able to interact with the artisan you’re supporting. Many of the booths are run by women-owned businesses and while they may not be among the percentage of female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies who made history by topping 5% for the first time in 2017, these hard-working women deserve your support. By buying from them, and all of the other deserving artisans, you’ll be helping real families.
Music and Entertainment
To break up your day of perusing, the organizers of Park Ave Fest have crafted a lineup of musicians to fill every hour of the two-day festival. There will be three stages along the length of Park Avenue and the first bands go on at 10:15 in the morning. At the east end of the festival, there will be the Alexander Stage on the corner of Alexander Street and Park. In the center of the festivities is the Oxford Stage on the corner of Park and Oxford Street. The third stage will be the Somerton Stage at the west end of Park Avenue between Somerton Street and Culver Road.
As a festival built for families, there will be a Kids Park designed to entertain the little ones. This shady tree-lined park will be on the Park Avenue side of the Rochester Museum & Science Center.
Kids can enjoy a wide variety of activities including bounce houses, Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventure, a Euro Bungee attraction, and a rock-climbing wall. While 45% of Americans have trouble falling asleep, your kids will have no problem drifting off the dreamland after a day filled with these fun activities. To further ensure you tire out the tykes, there will be additional bounce houses, obstacle courses, and other interactive inflatables for young festival-goers in the 7-Eleven parking lot near the corner of Park Avenue and Berkley Street.
Parking and Street Closures
To get to the festivities, you’ll need to know a bit about where you can park and what roads will not be accessible. Road closures during big events like this are essential in preventing car accidents, which injure 3 million people every year in the United States. Luckily, the only road closure will be where the festival is setting up. Between Alexander Street and Culver Road, Park Avenue will be closed from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Aug 3 and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug 4.
Parking will be available on one side of the side streets in the Park Avenue neighborhood. As these spots will be in high demand, the Greek Orthodox Church of Annunciation located at 962 East Ave is offering off-street parking for $5 per car.
Free parking will be available behind Gleason Works on University Avenue and at Monroe Square on Monroe Avenue. To transport you from these free lots to the festival, there will be roundtrip shuttle service for $3 that runs throughout the day. The shuttle is accessible for wheelchairs and there will also be a limited number of handicap parking spots available at Parkleigh, located on the corner of Park Avenue and Goodman Street.
For general information on the festival when you’re there, you can go to the Festival Office just west of Oxford Street.
There will also be first-aid service available next to the 7-Eleven parking lot. If you feel ill during the festival, don’t hesitate to visit the first-aid tent or go to an urgent care center nearby, which can often provide expert medical treatment with wait times of 30 minutes or less. Anyone who sees suspicious activity during the festival or becomes separated from their child should seek the help of Rochester Police Officers, who will be on patrol throughout the festival, or Festival Block Captains who will be wearing light blue polo shirts and bright yellow messenger bags.
With a sunny weather forecast, it’s sure to be the perfect weekend for Park Ave Fest. Step out of your homes and give your HVAC systems a break from keeping you cool by stopping by the festival this Saturday or Sunday. You’ll eat delicious food, hear wonderful music, discover new artists, and make memories that will last for years to come.
Even though most people know Rochester for Kodak or its signature garbage plate, more people have started to take note of Rochester’s thriving arts scene. From new featured art at the Memorial Art Gallery to the local artists showcasing their skills at its countless festivals each year, folks from across the state have indulged in the local art for which Rochester is known.
Now that the Lilac Festival has wrapped up for the season, it’s time to set our sights on the next upcoming Rochester-based event: the Corn Hill Arts Festival.
This annual event will be entering its 51st year as a Rochester staple event. Taking place in the Corn Hill district, hundreds of craft exhibitors and food vendors will peddle the best art and grub that Rochester has to offer.
This year, more than 325 artists are expected to line up and down nine streets to present and sell their best work starting on July 13.
But if you’re an up-and-comer, don’t worry: the festival will also feature its 11th annual display of the Emerging Artists Expo. This exposition is designed to celebrate emerging talent in young artists aged 15 through 25. The event will be taking applications until May 31, so be sure to submit your work before the deadline in only a few days.
The Emerging Artists Expo is a great opportunity for rising artists to showcase their work and begin interacting with the local community. Those who are accepted to present at the event will be given a 10 ft by 10 ft booth on Eagle street, giving them ample space to feature art and compete for a cash prize at the end of the festival.
“The Corn Hill Arts Festival is a perfect opportunity for young, emerging artists throughout Rochester to showcase their talents and highlight their impact on the community,” notes Denise Cook, the CEO and director for MVP Health Care.
If you’re one of the many artists attending the event, whether new or old, here are some of the top tips you can use to prepare your exhibit for the festival.
Consider the size of your booth
Artists will be given a booth that measures around 100 square feet. This will include any tables, staging, or other displays you want to incorporate in this space. The size is akin to those that you would see in trade shows. But while there are more than 252 convention centers for trade shows across the country, there’s only one Corn Hill Arts Festival. To make an impact with this crowd, you’ll need to use your space dynamically.
Your first step should be buying a tent to shield your guests and art from the sun and rain. This will protect your art from the glare of the hot sun and the sporadic rain that Rochester handles on a daily basis. While you might think your tent detracts from your booth’s aesthetic, this is a valuable tool for many artists. Try pinning your artwork on the walls of your tent and hanging dangling pieces, like wind chimes or jewelry, from its connecting rods. This will create an interactive space for your customers.
Create emphasis on certain pieces
While most artists typically showcase their art on a few tables, you can bring as many tools and displays as you want for your tent. This includes stacking boxes, drawers, shelves, and more. Though you shouldn’t make your tent look too cluttered, you can utilize these unique components to feature more of your artwork than you ever thought possible.
You can add points of emphasis in your booth by displaying art at multiple levels to highlight statement art pieces and organize like-groups. Many artists will organize their space through a number of different categories, including:
Other artists may even include cultural sections that highlight their personal backgrounds. This offers a unique opportunity for the artist to make connections with buyers. For example, artists showcasing traditional Mexican art may feature a collection of unique pieces for a higher price. It’s estimated that Mexican-Americans make up the largest population of immigrants in the United States at 26%.
Even though the Corn Hill Arts Festival starts in sunny July, you might still need great lighting for your tent on dreary days. Try accenting your tent with stylish string lights or bright LED lights so your guests can still view your work regardless of the weather outside. These eco-friendly options shine brighter than incandescent lights and are a top choice for businesses looking to utilize signage and more. It’s no wonder LEDs are estimated to receive 53% of the global market for lighting. Even if attendance is low because of the rain, you can be sure that any attendee will be able to check out your art.
Add an interactive component
There will be countless vendors showcasing similar products at the festival. When you want your booth to stand out, you need to utilize any tactic you have at your disposal. One of the most simple ways to encourage people to visit your booth is by adding an interactive component.
This can be as simple or as big as you want. Many tradeshow exhibitors and vendors find that fishbowl lotteries are an easy way to pull a crowd. Those who are acquainted with the Corn Hill Arts Festival might even include a scavenger hunt associated with the event or other forms of group entertainment. The sky is the limit when it comes to showcasing your booth’s creativity!
Even if your booth showcases the most beautiful, unique pieces of art, you may not make sales if your customers don’t know your name. When you’re setting up your booth, it’s vital that you invest in great signage to display your name or the name of your company. In fact, it’s estimated that half of all customers who patron a business — or in this case, your exhibit — entered because of its signage.
You should also be sure to include business cards for your customers. Even if someone doesn’t buy a piece of art today, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. Offer quality business cards with your contact information, including your social media handles. This will ensure anyone who comes to your booth will be able to find you later. They may even recommend you to their friends, potentially doubling your reach.
With only a month and some change to spare, it’s time to start planning. These are just some of the ways you can stand out at this year’s Corn Hill Arts Festival.
Many of you have noticed our extended hiatus and have begun asking if this is the end for RocSubway. I didn’t think it would be necessary to say anything about it. But for those of you who had followed this blog like religion for so long, you deserve some closure.
A little while ago I lost my job and decided to start my own web design business instead of going back to work for someone else. That was the best decision I ever made for myself. But it also means I now work pretty much nonstop with little time for anything else. What extra time I do have, I put into growing Reconnect Rochester . Reconnect is a nonprofit organization doing amazing work to change the way transportation is viewed in Monroe County. It’s something I’m very proud of. And it began with a seed planted right here.
So I’m not going away, really. I just won’t be posting much here for the foreseeable future. In the meantime you’re welcome to join me over at Reconnect . Or perhaps I’ll run into you somewhere else, helping to make our community better in your own way.
Before I sign off, I want to say thank you.
I’ve gained much more from every RocSubway reader I’ve met (virtually and in person) than what I’ve given on these pages. Always remember there are important lessons for the future buried deep within our past. Everywhere you look in this city—behind every wall and within every person—you will find a beautiful story. We’ve only scraped the surface.
On a recent trip to New York City (my previous home) I came across a poem in the subway by former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. I cannot think of better words to close with…
As you fly swiftly underground
with a song in your ears
or lost in the maze of a book,
remember the ones who descended here
into the mire of bedrock
to bore a hole through this granite,
to clear a passage for you
where there was only darkness and stone.
Remember as you come up into the light.
Somewhat unexpectedly, a fifth proposal for Midtown Parcel 5 was submitted. Spoiler alert, it’s, how to be polite about this, different. Ok, fine, it’s terrible. It’s bad. It’s terribad. It might even be a false flag operation to make the submitted proposals look better. I don’t know, but inexplicably it’s being taken seriously by parts of the city which is creating unrest with other parts of the city. I’d be calling for the popcorn if this weren’t the future of the middle of our town on the line.
I don’t know of anyone in the world who loves parking—except maybe Lorraine Baines—but that’s not exactly the kind of parking I’m talking about here…
I’m talking about the hassle of cruising up and down the rows of a Wegmans parking lot, trying to squeeze in next to the hummer who decided he needed an extra couple of spaces, fighting the nine other drivers who won’t even entertain the thought of walking an extra twenty feet to pay $5 for a bottle of water.
Do me a favor. If you’re at home, step outside for a moment and take a good, long look at your driveway and garage (Don’t worry, the Internet will still be here when you get back). If you don’t have a driveway or garage, step outside and catch me a Charmander!
Did you do it? Did you stare intently at your driveway/garage situation? Great! Now, think about it for a moment and answer honestly: Does your car have a bigger bedroom than you do? Seriously. What percentage of the space that you own/rent/occupy is dedicated solely to vehicular storage? Your car isn’t paying rent. Why does it get the biggest room in the house?!
What else could you do with that space the garage sits on? A jam space for your band? Art studio? Game room? Greenhouse? The possibilities are many…
Rochester Makerspace is hosting a Sunday Artists and Makers Expo on May 22 from 2 PM to 5 PM. Bring your friends or family and enjoy live music, plenty of refreshments, and an eclectic collection of artwork, crafts, and maker projects on display…
Holloway, who studied at Rochester’s School of the Arts, plays Amir Snow, the first black police officer in a small American town. The subject matter is highly relevant for these racially charged times, but it’s handled in a pretty hilarious way.
Searching for the perfect stocking stuffer this holiday season? How about an itty bitty version of Kodak tower? ReplicaBuildings.com manufactures replica scale models of famous buildings from around the globe. And two of them have been plucked right from Rochester’s skyline…
Last week a Facebook message came in from RocSubway reader, Nate Sengillo. Nate wanted to share photos from his recent trip to Frontier Town. I’ve never been there myself, but I know I’ve heard of this place before as my family has spent more than a few summer vacations at nearby Lake George. But now seeing Nate’s photos, I wish I had…
On my almost daily walk along State and Main streets I’ve often noticed this boom lift blocking the sidewalks around the Powers Building . I’ve never given it much thought. I just figured Daniel Powers liked his windows really clean.
Then, last week while at the Fringe, my RocSubway teammate Joanne Brokaw got introduced to Scott Grove. As it turns out, Scott is that guy hanging high up over Rochester’s sidewalks—and he’s not cleaning windows…
After the Erie Canal was rerouted south of downtown Rochester, the Rochester
Industrial & Rapid Transit Railway (the subway) was built in
its place as a link between the five different railroads and interurban trolley
lines that served the Rochester area. As the industrial landscape of Rochester
changed, and highways replaced the railroads, the Rochester subway gradually
became a relic of a bygone era. In 1956 the subway was abandoned and much of
its route was converted into Interstate 490 built to connect Rochester
with the New York State Thruway (I-90). Read more about the history of the Rochester Subway.
RochesterSubway.com exists to help spark
public dialogue around how we can better connect the neighborhoods of Rochester
NY, surrounding communities, and their cultural offerings. Rochesters
future is written in her past. Let's rediscover it.