Their city was the home for some famous people:
Amelia Bloomer (1840's) for whom the garment of that name is named
Buffalo Bill Cody (Wild Bill) called Rochester home in the 1870's
George Eastman, the father of Kodak film and cameras
Clara Barton, founder of Red Cross Nursing
Theda Bara, famous actress of the early 20th century lived in Rochester at the time of her death
Mitch Miller, band leader of the 50's and 60's
Cab Calloway, world famous jazz singer
Bud Abbott (of Abbott and Costello) was a theater manager in Rochester in the 1920's and he was friends with Mickey Rooney of film fame who lived in Rochester at the time
Kirk Douglas worked in a 1930's Rochester steel mill
Jay Silverheels (the Lone Ranger's Tonto) went to school in Rochester
Ingrid Bergman, beautiful film actress lived in Rochester in the 30's
Wendy Williams, wild singer is a Rochester native
Cal Ripken Jr. played for the Rochester Red Wings
Robert Forster and Phil Hoffman, Emmy winners, are Rochester area natives.
These things were "firsts" in Rochester....
the style of shoes we think of as baby shoes (white, ankle high, laced) were first made by Jesse Hatch.....
bloomers (ladies undergarment) were first worn by Amelia Bloomer.....
Seth Green invented the fishing reel.....
James Sargent invented the first bank time lock (Sargent Lock).....
George Eastman patented first color movie film and George French began his famous line of mustards.....
George Pease invented an automatic apple parer while Pearl Wait was inventing Jello in nearby LeRoy (pronounced Rochesterian style as leeroy).....
Jacob Meyers developed the first voting machines for U.S. public elections in 1892.....
The first U.S. patent for automobiles was given to George Selden in 1879
The second week of May is usually when the lilacs come to bloom in the "Flower City", Rochester, NY. Highland Park will be overflowing with blossoms and people for the annual Lilac Festival.
Arts and Craft tents; live entertainment on four different stages; tours of the park and local home gardens; clowns, balloons and face painting for the kids; food vendors galore.
Three days of things to do from 10am to 9pm.
see the website below for times and directions.
come on down for at least one day and you won't regret it.
PARKING NOTIFICATION from the website...
IMPORTANT! We urge you NOT to park on the side streets surrounding the festival. Vehicles parked illegally WILL be ticketed and/or towed.
- Park free at Monroe Community College (3 miles south of the festival at 100 East Henrietta Rd, Brighton) and ride the shuttle busses (small fee) from 10:30am to 8:30pm. The busses are equipped with lifts for handicapped. (Shuttles available at 8:30AM on Parade Day, 5/13)
A limited amout of paid parking and handicapped parking will be available in the two on-site parking lots listsed below:
Monday - Friday
Limited parking is available at two locations: (a $5 fee will apply after 5:00PM)
Off Goodman St., just south of Highland Avenue and off Elmwood Ave. east of South Avenue. Handicapped visitors can park in those lots anytime, but they are encouraged to use the shuttles on weekends.
Parking on side streets surrounding the Festival is highly discouraged. Your car may be ticketed and/or towed.
Motorcoaches and other group tour vehicles must stop at the motorcoach check-in booth at the corner of Highland and South Avenues before discharging their passengers: vehicles will be directed to free parking.
Rochester is the home of the Garth Fagan Dancers. He no longer dances himself but he has a wonderful modern dance troupe. Garth Fagan was also the choregrapher for The Lion King and won a Tony in 1998.
Every mid-May, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum/Bailey Circus pulls in to town for 4 days of fun and excitement for the kids.
When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to go to the Masonic Temple or the Armory to see the three-ringed circus with the elephants and tigers and parade of clowns.
Much of that glamor is gone (one large ring instead of three small ones; no tigers at all).
But the new era of circus still has the kids lined up to see the trapeze artists and clowns and jugglers and the elephant parade, all portrayed now in a little play-like performance. And they still have all the candy and goodies that you need while you watch the show.
The venue is the Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial building on Exchange Blvd and Broad Street.
see http://www.ticketmaster.com for ticket prices and seats and dates/times.
the current slogan for Rochester is "Made For Living".
Rochesterians refer to a carbonated non-alcoholic beverage as a "POP"; a beef filled hotdog is a "RED HOT" (red color) and a pork filled hotdog is a "WHITE HOT" (white color). A "PARTY HOUSE" is where you have a wedding reception or holiday banquet.
CHILI is pronounced "Chye Lye" (to rhyme with why lye) with accent on first syllable.
CHARLOTTE is pronounced "Shar Lot" with accent on second syllable.
RIGA is pronounced "Rye Gah", accent on first syllable.
BERGEN is pronounced "Burr Jen", accent on first syllable.
Both the Rochester Police Department and the Monroe County Sherriffs service the Rochester area. Motto of the Police Department is: "serving with pride"
The two-day, annual Rose Celebration in Maplewood area begins June 20th this year (2009).
The main venue is Maplewood Park at Driving Park and Lake Avenue. Besides the tents holding commercial garden vendors and local experts, there will be gardening demonstrations given during the event that are appropriate for green-thumbs of all ages and expertise. Special tours will be conducted through home-gardens in the nearby neighborhood; Genesee River gorge tours are also available. There will be a plant swap on each day where you can trade one of your favorite plants for one of theirs if you donate one to the gardens.
During the day, there will be entertainment and activities for the children
A special kick-off party is scheduled for 7-10pm at the bridge entrance of the park on June 19th. There will be entertainment, food and fireworks.
The only costs are $12 for the tours and the cost of the donated plant if you decide to enter the swap.
Get there early to find a good parking spot near the park or be prepared to drive around a little while searching for an available opening.
to get there:
Take Lake Avenue or Driving Park Blvd to their intersection at the park along the Genesee River.
This is probably the largest single event that happens in Rochester every year (compares to the Lilac Festival and the LPGA Tournament).
Annually, the weekend following the 4th of July weekend is the Corn Hill Fest (named after the locale where it is held). Five hundred artisans from around the country will exhibit their crafts and sell their wares to over 250,000 people who flock to this event. From pottery to paintings, woodworking to sculptures, textiles to jewelry; food vendors and musical entertainment as well; this festival has it all. Mimes along the street and clowns amongst the tents, street musicians and bands on stage with huge speakers; it is a great time for all.
Parking near the Corn Hill neighborhood is almost impossible so the sponsors have set up a free shuttle bus service to the event from parking areas quite far from the venue.
The shuttle service will operate from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday July 14th and 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday July 15th. The final shuttle bus run each day will depart from the Corn Hill Art Festival shuttle stop at S. Plymouth Ave. and Troup St.
The shuttle stops near parking areas are at the following locations:
1. Bausch and Lomb Place Circle (East side of Court Street Garage.) Use elevators on East side of building to 1st level. Stop will be adjacent to exit Please use this shuttle stop if wheelchair access or special assistance boarding the bus is needed.
2. South Clinton Avenue and Woodbury Blvd
3. Broad Street and South Avenue
4. Broad Street and Fitzhugh Street
5. South Plymouth Avenue and Main Street
Browsing and walking and listening are all free. You only pay for whatever artwork you buy or food stuff you consume.
The annual "Party in the Park" festival returns to Rochester for the city's 175th anniversary. The venue has been moved to a larger, more accessible location at Exchange and Court, right across from the BCBS Arena. It is tauted as "the most exciting summer festival in Rochester" and hosts generally between 30000 and 40000 people.
For eight consecutive Thursday in June, July and August, professional musicians will entertain the crowds for 5 hours (starts about 5pm). The bands are national (Average White Band) and local (Buddhahood) favorites and each nite has two bands performing.
Besides the bands, there are food tents (local favorite is Zweigles) and street vendors hawking their wares. Local TV stations regularly send in camera crews to get highlights of the musicians and the crowd reactions.
See the website below for information on which bands play on which evenings and also to find a contact telephone number for information on parking.
And best of all it is free.
In mid-June annually, a two- day festival celebrating Turkish arts and culture is held in Rochester. This colorful festival allows area Turks to put their culture “on display” for all Rochesterians. The Womens’ Committee puts together a yearly "Foklor" a traditional Turkish dance. For the male members of the society, there are usually nightly gatherings for prayer, discussions or just fun.
Live music and dancing (mostly ethnic in origin and presentation) are provided for your entertainment. Artisans in arts and crafts tents will be selling their wares and food vendors will entice your taste buds with regional foods.
Entrance is free and you pay-as-you-go for any of the events that require money.
to get there:
677 Beahan Rd
the old Party House property
I-390 to the chili avenue exit, go west on route 33A to Howard-Beahan Road intersection then go south on Beahan to just before the railroad tracks
One of the biggest parts of going out in Rochester is ending a night of drinking with a Garbage Plate at Nick Tahou's. Nick is the only TRUE Garbage Plate but lots of places have their own plates.
The typical plates are 2 Hots or Hamburgers over Mac salad and Home fries, you can subitute beans or French fries. An they are topped with onions, mustard and a meat hot sauce.
Non-professional oarsmen and teams come to Rochester every year to challenge each other and the river. August is the usual time of year for the event and it lasts one day officially, although you will certainly see teams on the water practicing for several days before start time.
Canoes, outriggers, kayaks, and any other human powered boat that passes safety inspections can be entered in the races. The events are for the benefit of disabled Americans and the event handlers provide means for those disabled persons to participate to the best of their abilities.
There will be bands along the river bank (South Wedge Landing) to pay honor to Iraq veterans at this years regatta. Local politicians and event sponsors will be in the Mt. Hope bandstand area for presentations and speeches. Entertainment (singers and dancers) will keep the crowds spirits high. Loud cheering is encouraged for all events.
Come on down and lend a couple of lungs to the shouts of the crowds.
See the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper about the last week in July to get the dates and times for this years agenda.
The third weekend in July or September in Rochester marks the date for the Art Walk. University Avenue from the Memorial Art Gallery to the Eastman House is cordoned off for a street-of-art.
From noon to 4pm, this area is swinging with live entertainment, tents of artwork, raffles (tickets at the Art Gallery), food/beverage vendors, balloons for the kids and lots of people milling around. A short parade starts off the event and there are fire trucks to inspect. There are art works to buy from $25 to hundreds of dollars. The kids can have fun adding their own images to the collage. Artists take every day items and decorate them as art work on the streets for the event.
Parking for the event is in the Art Gallery and along the side streets, so get there early or be prepared to park away from the event.
Profits go to the Granger Homestead.
This event (Savor Rochester) is a fund raiser that is held annually to raise money for the FoodLink (local hunger relief organization).
The venue is the Public Market where over 100 of Rochester's food providers (restaurants, food markets, wineries, specialty food stores, health-food producers, and local farmers bring samples of the products for you to taste.
It is held on a weekend in mid-Septmeber each year (call the number below of this years times and dates). Tickets cost $45 per person and are available at Wegman's Food Stores or by calling the number below.
Food is served buffet style and you can pick and choose whatever hits your fancy. There is live music to fill in the quiet between streams of conversation.
The event takes place from 2pm to 9pm in the pavilion at thePublic Market and goes on regardless of weather conditions.
to get there:
take I-490 to the inner loop on the east side of the city (heading north) and get off the inner loop at the North Union Street exit. take North Union several blocks north to Trinidad Street and jog east on Trinidad to Public Market entrance road.
Besides the 10 sectors of the heart of Rochester, there are many suburbs that extend from the center of the city out towards the outlying rural areas. Each of the suburbs has something interesting to offer to tourists and you may want to investigate some of the possibilities.
Some of these suburbs of interest are:
Brighton: just south of Sector 7; bounded by I-490, I-390, I-590 and Mt. Hope Avenue
Chili: southwest of Rochester just beyond the county airport
East Rochester: east of Rochester with I-490 as west boundary
Fairport: southeast of Rochester, centered on route 250
Gates: due west of Rochester
Greece: northwest of Rochester
Henrietta: south of Rochester with along I-390
Irondequoit: north of Rochester
Ogden: west of Rochester, near route 531
Penfield: southeast of Rochester
Perinton... south of Fairport and southeast of East Rochester
Pittsford: southeast of Rochester, bounded by I-590 and I-490
Webster: far northeast area of Rochester