ANNUAL MANUAL '11: 2011 Festival Guide 


For a city its size Rochester is jam-packed with events. Once the weather warms up we tend to go a little crazy, and nary a weekend goes by between April and October when there isn't some fabulous festival bringing thousands of people to the streets.

            Below is a list of many of the major events of 2011. For a complete events calendar, check out City Newspaper every Wednesday, or visit and use our searchable online calendar.


Rochester International Film Festival

April 14-16

Dryden Theatre, George Eastman House

Short-film festival, 234-7411

City Newspaper Cultural Crawl

April 16

Various downtown and Neighborhood of the Arts venues

Free or low-cost performances and activities by some of the area's major arts groups, 244-3329

360 | 365 George Eastman House Film Festival

April 27-May 2

Dryden Theatre, other local cinemas

Screenings of more than 80 films (full-length, shorts, documentaries), 279-8307

Sheep Sheering Festival

April 30

Springdale Farm, Ogden

Demos, wool cleaning, music, 349-2090


Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival

May 7

RIT campus

Activities highlighting a fusion of art and technology, kids events

City Newspaper Best Busker Contest

May 12

East End (East Ave from Alexander to Chestnut)

Free event; vote for your favorite live street musicians, food and drink deals, 244-3329

Lilac Festival

May 12-22

Highland Park

Celebration of flora, live music, activities, food

Memorial Day Parade

May 31

Downtown Rochester, 544-2839


Greek Festival

June 2-5

Greek Church of the Annunciation, East Ave

Greek food, entertainment, culture, 244-3377

East End Festivals

June 3, July 8, and August 12

East End District

Local bands, street festivities, 234-0630

FairportCanal Days

June 3-5

Main Street, Fairport

Arts & crafts, food, music, family activities

19th Ward Square Fair

June 5

Aberdeen Square

Food and activities to celebrate the 19th Ward, 328-6571

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

June 10-18

Many venues in Rochester's East End

More than 250 shows, featuring local, national, and international acts, 454-2060


June 19

Susan B. Anthony Square

Performances, food, activities to celebrate the end of slavery.


Maplewood Rose Celebration

June 19-20

MaplewoodPark, Driving Park and Lake Avenue

Hundreds of varieties of roses; horticultural tours, more, 428-6755

Wegmans Rochester LPGA Championship

June 20-26

Locust Hill Country Club, Pittsford

World-renowned women golfers compete., 427-7100

Harbor and Carousel Festival

June 25-27

OntarioBeachPark, Charlotte

Special events to celebrate the LakeOntario waterfront, 428-6767


Sterling Renaissance Festival

Weekends, July 9-August 21

Sterling, NY

"Olde school" food, drink, performances, crafts, 800-879-4446

Hill Cumorah Pageant

July 8-9 & 12-16

Hill Cumorah, near Palmyra

Theatrical retelling of the Book of Mormon, 315-597-5851

Corn Hill Arts Festival

July 9-10

Corn Hill neighborhood

Dozens of crafters, food, kids activities, 262-3142

NazarethCollegeArtsCenter Dance Festival

July 8-16

NazarethCollegeArtsCenter, East Ave

Dance performances by renowned national and local troupes, dance films, parades, 389-2170

Rochester Pride 2011

July 8-17

Various locations in Rochester

Parade, festival, picnic to celebrate the local LGBT community, 244-8640

Monroe County Fair

July 13-17

MonroeCountyFairgrounds, East Henrietta Road

Agricultural exhibits, animals, rides, food, 334-4000

Big Rib BBQ & Blues Fest

July 14-17

Highland Park Festival Site, Highland & South Ave

Barbecue food and competitions, live blues music.

ESL International Air Show

July 16-17

Greater RochesterInternationalAirport

Precision flying exhibitions

Native American Dance & Music Festival

July 23-24

Ganondagan Historic Site, Route 444, Victor

Live music and dance performances and demonstrations., 742-1690

10 Ugly Men Festival

July 23


Music, food, drinks, charity sporting events, kids activities

SpencerportCanal Days

July 30-31

Along the Erie Canal, Spencerport

Arts & crafts, entertainment, food, canoe race, 349-1331

Waterfront Art Festival

July 30-31

KershawPark, Canandaigua

Arts & crafts, kids' activities, 671-9102

Rochester Jewish Film Festival

July 10-18

Little Theatre, Dryden Theatre, JCC

Movies by Jewish filmmakers/of Jewish interest, 461-2000 x237

Brockport Summer Arts Fest

August 13-14

SUNY Brockport, Holley Street

Food, music, rubber duck derby, dragon boat races, 260-7764


Northeast Naturist Festival

August 3-8

Empire Haven, Moravia

Activities for naturists/nudists

Puerto Rican Festival

August 5-7

Frontier Field VIP Parking Lot

Puerto Rican food, parade, cultural activities, 234-7660

Polish Arts Festival

August 6-7

St. Stanislaus Church, corner of Norton and Hudson

Polish arts, food, crafts, 266-6440

German Fest

August 12-14

Fireman's Field, Spencerport

German food, drink, dancing, entertainment

African/African American Festival

August 6

Highland Bowl, South Avenue

African drums and dancing, arts and crafts, food, 313-3685

Park Ave Summer Arts Fest

August 6-7

Park Avenue

Arts & crafts, live entertainment, food, family activities, 473-4482

Palmyra Pirate Weekend

August 5-6

Village of Palmyra

Family-friendly activities with a pirate theme, 315-597-4849


August 14

Riverside Festival Site

Celebration of Caribbean heritage


Arts at the Gardens

August 20-21

SonnenbergGardens and Mansion, Canandaigua

Works by 100 artists in a variety of media.

Clarissa StreetReunion

August 21

Corn Hill neighborhood

Music and more to celebrate the historic hotspot


Sankofa Arts, Dance, Music & Theater Festival

August 27-28

MuCCC, Village Gate

Arts and cultural activities to celebrate African-American history and heritage.

271-7010, 442-9892


New YorkState Festival of Balloons

September 1-5


Hot air balloon rides, food, entertainment, music, kids' rides

DCA Drum and Bugle Corps Championships

September 1-5

Various locations, including MainStreetBridge and Sahlen's Stadium

Performances by dozens of drum and bugle corps.

Labor Day Parade

September 5

Downtown Rochester, 263-2650

Clothesline Arts Festival

September 10-11


Renowned arts & crafts, live entertainment, 276-8900

Mendon Station Festival

September 11-12

MendonStationPark, Mendon

Music, Irish dancers, horse exhibitions, arts and crafts, 624-3182


September 18

Downtown Rochester

26.2-mile course through the city

Irondequoit Oktoberfest

September 16-18, 23-24

CampEastman, DurandEastmanPark

Echt Deutsch music, dancing, food, beer

Greentopia Festival

September 17-18

High Falls District

Environment-focused festival with workshops, films, speakers, art, food, more.

Purple Foot Festival

September 18

Casa Larga Vineyards, Fairport

Grape stomping, live music, wine tasting, kids' activities, 223-4210

Savor Rochester: Festival of Food

September 20

Public Market

Samples from area restaurants, wineries, farmers, specialty food sellers, 328-3380

Rochester Sci-Fi Anime Con

September 24

Main Street Armory, 900 E Main St.

Science-fiction, comic-book, fantasy, anime, gaming convention.

Naples Grape Festival

September 24-25


Grape pie contest, arts & crafts, family entertainment, live music

Harvest Jamboree & Country Fair

September 26

Rochester Public Market

Celebration of agriculture with pumpkin patch, petting zoo, country dance, more, 311


Hilton Apple Fest

October 1-2


Arts & crafts, car show, apple wares, pie contest, 392-7773

RochesterRiver Romance Weekend

October 7-9

GeneseeRiver corridor

Various activities celebrating the GeneseeRiver, including Head of The Genesee Regatta, 428-6755

ImageOut Film Festival

October 7-16

Dryden Theatre, Little Theatre, other venues

Gay & lesbian film festival

Rochester Fashion Week

October 13-16

Various locations

Fashion shuttle-bus tour, fashion shows, art and music celebrations.

University of RochesterMeliora Weekend

October 20-23

University of RochesterRiver Campus

Lectures, performances, seminars, social events; keynote speech by President Bill Clinton.

Jewish Book Festival

October 24-31

Jewish Community Center, Edgewood Ave

Book events featuring Jewish authors or books of Jewish interest

In This Guide...

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '11: Introduction

    Putting it all together
    The toughest part of putting together the Annual Manual each year isn't finding stuff to write about- it's fitting all of Rochester into one publication. It's impossible to condense any city into a few dozen pages, and Rochester is certainly no exception.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '11: Rochester Sports

    Five offbeat local amateur sports associations
     [ RECREATION ] BY JESSE HANUS Rochester is unquestionably a sports town.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '11: Rochester blogs

    Get to know the town through the work of some local bloggers
     [ LOCAL COLOR ] By Kate Antoniades Amongst all the pharmaceutical-hawking spam messages, the tweets about Justin Bieber's new haircut, and the YouTube comments that make you question your faith in humanity, you can still manage to find plenty of good stuff online.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '11: Welcome to the Neighborhoods

    Get to know the Greater Rochester area
    MonroeCounty is about as diverse a community as you can find: a mid-size city, rural areas with orchards and farm markets, suburbs with 20th-century tract houses and shopping malls, and quaint, Victorian villages. The GeneseeRiver and the Erie Canal bisect the county, more or less vertically and diagonally, so geology and history are a constant presence, shaping everything from traffic patterns to architecture and public festivals.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '11: Historical Museums in Rochester

    Rochester’s historical museums offer specialized looks into the past
    The North Star. Smugtown.

  • ANNUAL MANUAL '11: Rochester outdoor galleries

    A guide to Rochester’s notable outdoor art
    Some people might think that Rochester's public art begins and ends with ARTWalk in the Neighborhood of the Arts, the horses on parade (remember those?), and those polarizing benches. But there have also been many different neighborhood art projects, as well as public and private commissions of local artists, plus works of art created randomly here and there.

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