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Archive: ‘Rochester Destinations’...

ROC Around the Christmas Tree: Must-See Holiday Events in Rochester

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

According to the New York Post, Rochester seems to be a “grim and depressing” place to live. But anyone who loves the Flower City will tell you otherwise — even when it’s covered with that ubiquitous lake effect snow. Although people over the age of 55 are at least four times more likely to suffer a heart-related injury when shoveling the white stuff, many Rochesterians feel the harsh winters are well worth staying for.

Despite the cold and ice, there’s something magical about spending the holidays here. And if you’re stumped on how to celebrate the season, there are plenty of events and activities that can help you appreciate what the city has to offer.

ROC Holiday Village

Only in its second year, this free event promises to be a real crowd-pleaser. In fact, its debut last year actually brought more than 100,000 people downtown to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square. It’ll return for a three-and-a-half-week run starting on Friday, December 6 and will be open from 4 pm to 11 pm on Fridays, 10 am to 11 pm on Saturdays, and 10 am to 6 pm on Sundays through December 31. This year’s Village will feature a larger restaurant and bar, a new gaming room, a live nativity, more food trucks, ice skating, crafts, photos with Santa, and more. ROC Holiday Village will also light an outdoor menorah during the evenings from December 22 through December 30 — and since the average life expectancy of a fluorescent or LED bulb can range from 20,000 to 50,000 hours, organizers may be hoping that their bulbs will last just as long as the oil in the Hanukah story. In addition, the Village will host Kwanzaa and Three Kings’ Day celebrations on December 21 and 28, respectively. Although no permanent construction will be performed (meaning that some of the 8.4 million people employed within the construction industry might not be working on this project), putting the event together literally takes a village.

Lighting the Trees, Poles, and Kegs

The City of Rochester will host its annual Liberty Pole lighting on December 7. Starting at 4:30 at East Main Street and Franklin Street, the festivities will involve and meet-and-greet with Santa, Rudolph, and his elves (as well as local sports team mascots), followed by the lighting at 5 pm. A parade will then make its way to Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park.

If you want to embrace an unconventional Rochester tradition, head to the Genesee Brew House for their now-annual keg tree lighting ceremony on December 6 at 6:30 pm to enjoy the lights, the beer, the music, and the food trucks. Last year, the event drew more than 6,000 Rochesterians to witness the unique tree created out of 520 kegs. Just make sure that if you attend, you have a safe way of getting home. While there were 5,172 fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017, drunk driving accidents in general become more common around the holidays. Those who choose to drink should arrange for alternate transportation.

Of course, if you’re in the mood for a traditional tree-lighting, there are plenty of options to choose from. You just might need to venture outside the immediate city center to see them. Partake in Pittsford’s Candlelight Night on December 3 and see two separate tree lightings in the village (one at Main and State streets at 6 pm and the other at Label 7 in Northfield Common at 7 pm). Your family can also meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the Grinch. Keep in mind that South Main will be closed to traffic and that shuttle service will run from Pittsford Sutherland High School to the village for convenience. You could also venture out to the Greece Community Center for their annual Tree Lighting and Family Christmas Party on December 5. Be sure to arrive early for holiday carols and stay for the tree-lighting at 6:15 (after which the indoor-outdoor party will begin). On December 7, check out the Village of Victor celebration and stick around for the 5 pm tree-lighting ceremony. That same day, you could also attend Fairport’s Come Home For the Holidays Event from 3 pm to 6 pm, which includes a 5 pm tree-lighting ceremony at Kennelley Park on West Avenue. You might also consider attending Little Italy’s second annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration on December 14, which takes place on the front lawn of the Rochester Fire Department’s Engine Number 5 Fire House, at 5 pm. Festivities include Italian cookies, cocoa, holiday music, and photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Special (and Affordable) Seasonal Offerings

If you’re looking for affordable ways to celebrate the season with your family, there are a number of events you’ll want to put on the calendar now. There’s Holiday Laser at the Strasenburgh Planetarium, which features holiday favorites with dancing laser lights, running now through January 5 (there’s also a sensory-friendly performance on December 7). The George Eastman Museum is also putting on a Holiday Homecoming Event on December 12, which features live music, cookies and punch, family activities, and festive displays, along with a visit from Santa. The museum’s Sweet Creations Gingerbread Display will also continue through December 15, so families can take advantage of both options with museum admission. You could also take the family to Christmas with Santa at Springdale Farm (which includes breakfast!) in Spencerport on November 30, December 7, or December 14 or go to Garden Factory’s Holiday Family Fun event on Saturdays and Sundays through December 22. The event includes rides, games, crafts, Santa appearances, and a petting zoo. The Rochester Public Market will host Holidays at the Market on December 1, 8, 15, and 19, which will include holiday carriage rides, cookie decorating, and (you guessed it) appearances by Santa.

If you’re sticking around Rochester for the holidays, there are clearly plenty of reasons to feel jolly. With so many yuletide events going on, you’ll probably have trouble deciding which ones you’ll have to skip this year.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News | No Comments »

Special Weekend Events Mark 60th Anniversary of Rochester Subway Closing

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

The Rochester subway station at Monroe Avenue (June 1956). The Rochester subway ended passenger service on June 30, 1956. [PHOTO: Rochester Municipal Archives]
By Mike Governale

The Rochester Subway stopped passenger service on June 30, 1956. To mark the 60th anniversary of the subway’s closing the New York Museum of Transportation external link will host a two-day weekend event filled with talks, trolley rides, demonstrations of the Subway’s fully restored “Casey Jones” speeder, food, and vendors…

(more…)

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Rochester Subway, Rochester Subway Stories, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 6 Comments »

RocLinks 6/4/16

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

St. Boniface Church in 1911 [PHOTO: Albert R. Stone Negative Collection, Rochester Museum & Science Center]
By Matthew Denker

From local development to just plain news of the weird, here are your RocLinks for this past week…

(more…)

Saturday, June 4th, 2016
Posted in Architecture, Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Development | 4 Comments »

Movie Fans, Step Aboard the “Race” Bus

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

This 1948 Greyhound bus from the NY Museum of Transportation recently appeared in the movie 'Race' and is now open to museum visitors. [IMAGE: Provided]
By Mike Governale

This fully restored vintage Greyhound bus appeared in the movie Race external link, the recent film about Jesse Owens’ fight to compete in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games where he won four gold medals. The bus will be open for visitors and tales from the restoration and filming of the bus will be told next Sunday at The New York Museum of Transportation…

(more…)

Saturday, May 14th, 2016
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester News, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | No Comments »

Rochester Makerspace Sunday Artists and Makers Expo

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Artwork by Alexandros Hatzigiannidis. [IMAGE: Provided]
By Mike Governale

Rochester Makerspace external link 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…

(more…)

Saturday, May 14th, 2016
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Posted in Art + Culture, Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News | No Comments »

Save the Letchworth Park Rail Bridge

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Portageville rail bridge at Letchworth State Park, NY. [IMAGE: Richard H. Jordan III]
The following is a guest post submitted by Richard H. Jordan III.
Submit your story today.

Letchworth Bridge in southern Letchworth State Park celebrates its 141st birthday this year (built 1875) and will be replaced external link by a new steel arch bridge about 75 feet to the south. The new bridge will take approximately 3 years to complete. During that time efforts will be made to turn the original bridge into a pedestrian walkway similar to the hugely successful Poughkeepsie NY bridge crossing the Hudson River and gorge—now a New York State Park…

(more…)

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
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Posted in Architecture, Opinion, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester Subway Stories, Train/Railroad Stuff, Transit + Infrastructure | 7 Comments »

Inside Abandoned Medley Centre (a.k.a Irondequoit Mall)

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Abandoned Medley Centre / Irondequoit Mall. Rochester, NY. [IMAGE: Random Retail, Flickr.com]
By Snoop Junkie

Last week Medley Centre finally went up for auction. Angelo Ingrassia, former owner of Irondequoit Dodge, won external link the vacant building plus nine adjoining properties for the bargain basement price of $100,000.

The following images were taken last month (December 2015) inside Medley Centre…

(more…)

Sunday, January 24th, 2016
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Rochester News, Urban Development, Urban Exploration | 32 Comments »

Replica Rochester Landmarks

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Replica of Kodak World Headquarters, Rochester NY. [IMAGE:  ReplicaBuildings.com]
By Mike Governale

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…

(more…)

Monday, November 30th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Urban Development | 2 Comments »

“Rolling Thunder” Food Truck Festival at Ellison Park

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

The Rochester Rolling Thunder Festival is coming to Ellison Park this Saturday. [IMAGE: RocPX.com]
Story via Tin Man Events

This Saturday Ellison Park will host Rolling Thunder – The Food Truck Wonder external link and what’s being billed as “a food truck rodeo on steriods.” Rolling Thunder will be the first food truck event to take place at a Monroe County Park…

(more…)

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
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Posted in Events, Rochester Destinations | 12 Comments »

Inner Loop Redevelopment Recommendations

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

A recent report from Stantec outlines recommendations and suggestions for the redevelopment of Union Street after the Inner Loop is filled. [IMAGE: Philip Michael Brown Studio / City of Rochester]
By Mike Governale

Yesterday we took a bike ride down inside the Inner Loop with Matthew Ehlers to see how Rochester’s “big fill” was progressing. Quite nicely I’d say. But once filled, the next question becomes, what will fill the void.

RocSubway reader Ben Voellinger pointed us to a recent document external link posted to the City’s website that outlines recommendations for future development(s) along the new Union Street. Thanks Ben! Let’s take a look…

(more…)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Development | 33 Comments »

Take a Daytrip to Medina NY, with the Young Urban Preservationists

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Landmark Society's Young Urban Preservationists and Slow Road Travel are bringing you Backroads & Byways: Medina, the first in a series of daytrips to check out the roads less traveled and to explore historic places and exciting projects in small towns throughout the region. [PHOTO: Landmark Society of WNY]
By Mike Governale

We all love Rochester but sometimes you just need to get out of town for a day, right? That’s why Landmark Society’s Young Urban Preservationists and Slow Road Travel are bringing you Backroads & Byways: Medina external link, the first in a series of daytrips to check out the roads less traveled and to explore historic places and exciting projects in small towns throughout the region…

(more…)

Monday, June 1st, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Urban Exploration | No Comments »

Rochester Pedal Tours

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Rochester Pedal Tours coming July 2015. [PHOTO: BuffaloPedalTours.com]
By Mike Governale

Here’s some exciting news… Trolleys will be returning to Rochester’s streets this summer! Though not the electric kind. Philip Szal will be starting Rochester Pedal Tours, a pedal powered trolley that guests can take around downtown as a way to bounce between their favorite restaurants and bars…

(more…)

Sunday, May 17th, 2015
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Posted in Art + Culture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News, Transit + Infrastructure | 4 Comments »

The Glen House – Rochester’s First Water-side Retreat

Monday, April 27th, 2015

In 1870 Ellwanger & Barry (and other wealthy investors) owned a spot along the west bank of the Genesee River gorge known as Maple Grove. At the time, the Lake Avenue streetcar line stretched all the way to this point, and in an effort to stimulate traffic on the trolley line, they had built Rochester's first water-side resort; the Glen House. [PHOTO: 'Rochester's Lakeside Resorts and Amusement Parks' by Donovan Schilling]
By Mike Governale

In 1870 Ellwanger & Barry (and other wealthy investors) owned a spot along the west bank of the Genesee River gorge known as Maple Grove. At the time, the Lake Avenue streetcar line stretched all the way to this point, and in an effort to stimulate traffic on the trolley line, they had built Rochester’s first water-side resort; the Glen House…

(more…)

Monday, April 27th, 2015
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Posted in Architecture, Rochester Destinations, Rochester History, Rochester Images, Transit + Infrastructure, Urban Exploration | 9 Comments »

RocLinks 3/21/15

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Midtown Plaza [PHOTO: Thomas Belknap/flickr]
By Matthew Denker

Sorry for leaving everyone high and dry on the link front last week. Ironically enough, I was in Rochester, which complicated writing a RocLinks so much that I was unable to do so. That said, it was wonderful seeing/meeting so many of you, and my deepest apologies to any readers I missed while in town.

And now, from local development to just plain news of the weird, here are your RocLinks for this past week…

(more…)

Saturday, March 21st, 2015
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Posted in Rochester Destinations, Rochester News | 12 Comments »

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