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July Events: Rochester’s Red-Hot Celebrations and Activities

July brings a vibrant array of events and festivities to the Rochester area that will delight locals and visitors alike. As the summer heats up, the region comes alive with activities to suit every taste. From medieval cosplay at the Sterling Renaissance Festival to celebrating the nation’s independence at Genesee Country Village & Museum, there’s something for everyone in this bustling city and its surrounding areas.

If you’re a fan of arts and culture, mark your calendars for the Corn Hill Arts Festival, a popular weekend-long event showcasing art and music in Rochester’s oldest residential neighborhood. Watkins Glen’s Finger Lakes Wine Festival offers wine enthusiasts a chance to sample and purchase wines from nearly 100 New York State wineries, accompanied by entertainment, shopping, and wine seminars. If you have a passion for delicious food, take advantage of the Taste of Buffalo, the nation’s largest two-day food festival, featuring an array of culinary delights from local restaurants and food trucks.

Attend Ganondagan’s Indigenous Music and Arts Festival to immerse yourself in Haudenosaunee culture through food, music, dance, and craft vendors. Or, if you’re in the mood for a discovery drive, embark on the 50-mile Route 90 Garage Sale, a treasure trove of unique finds stretching from Seneca Falls to Homer.

Back in the city, Rochester offers an array of exciting events. Enjoy live music with Concerts by the Shore, Bands on the Bricks, and the Finger Lakes Choral Festival. Savor several cuisines at the Food Truck Rodeo, or celebrate diversity and inclusion at the vibrant Pride Parade + Festival.

Throughout Monroe County and Greater Rochester, you’ll find events and celebrations, from classic carnivals and film festivals to art showcases and community gatherings. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with the local culture.

So whether you’re a history enthusiast, a music lover, a foodie, or an art connoisseur, July in Rochester promises a month filled with unforgettable experiences. Grab your calendar, gather your friends and family, and get ready to make the most of the exciting events happening throughout the region.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

Sterling Renaissance Festival
Sterling Renaissance Festival

July 1–August 13: Sterling Renaissance Festival. Open weekends from early July to mid-August, this Renaissance festival is one of the best medieval cosplay events in New York. Taking part in the event is half the fun, whether you make a floral headpiece, rent a dress, or wear a full suit of armor. Purchase tickets online and download the schedule of events in advance to help plan your day. With nearly 100 performances on 12 stages across 35 acres, there are a few shows you won’t want to miss, such as the highly energetic jousting tournament, which takes place twice a day at noon and 5:45 p.m. Make sure to arrive at Ye Field of Honor early to secure a shaded spot to stand. The food and drink lines can be long, so bring a cooler for a picnic in the parking lot—be sure to have your hand stamped to re-enter the fair. 15385 Farden Road, Sterling, Cayuga County, sterlingfestival.com

Genesee Country Village July 4 pie eating contest
GCVM pie-eating contest

July 4: Independence Day at Genesee Country Village & Museum. Each 4th of July, The Genesee Country Village & Museum hosts a Naturalization Ceremony for roughly 50 new American Citizens. It reminds me that the path to citizenship is paved with hard work and determination. The ceremony is quite a thing to witness. It is also a day-long celebration of all things America, with a pie-eating contest, sack races, and a parade. gcvm.org

July 8–9: Corn Hill Arts Festival. Avery Mall (Park) is the official shuttle stop for the popular weekend-long art and music festival in Corn Hill, Rochester’s oldest residential neighborhood. Avery Mall, 281 S. Plymouth Avenue, cornhillartsfestival.com

July 8–9: Finger Lakes Wine Festival: With nearly 100 New York State wineries represented, this event is an excellent opportunity to taste and purchase a variety of wines. Besides wine tasting, the showcase also features entertainment, shopping, wine seminars, and culinary classes. Admission fee. Watkins Glen International, 2790 County Route 6, flwinefest.com

July 8–9: Taste of Buffalo. Recently awarded the top spot in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best City Food Festival, the nation’s largest two-day food festival takes place downtown along Delaware Avenue. It features more than 40 restaurants and food trucks from Buffalo and Western New York and several wineries. Admission to the festival is free; purchase tickets for tastings. tasteofbuffalo.com

July 15–16: Seneca Veterans Powwow: The powwow takes place in Veterans Park, located in the heart of Salamanca, on the lands of the Seneca Nation. The gates open at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend will be filled with full competition drumming, powwow festivities, and smoke dancing. senecapowwow.org

July 21–23: Convention Days. Convention Days brings to life the historic 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for women’s rights through art, drama, and scholarly presentations. Each year has a different theme, with three days of activities offered throughout the village. Women’s Rights National Historical Park, 136 Fall Street, nps.gov

Ganondagan

July 22–23: Ganondagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival. Ganondagan invites visitors to experience Haudenosaunee culture through food, music, dance, and craft vendors during the last weekend of July. The festival features national and international artists, and the longhouse and Seneca Arts & Culture Center are open, including the museum, theater, and gift shop. Admission fee. 7000 County Road 41, Victor, Ontario County, ganondagan.org

July 22–23: Arts in the Gardens. Visit the 50-acre estate at Sonnenberg Gardens for a day of art, music, food, and beverages. Admission fee. 250 Gibson Street, sonnenberg.org

July 25–29: Ontario County Fair. The Ontario County Fair Committee, established in 1843, holds its fair at the end of July. 2820 County Route 10, ontariocountyfair.org

July 28–30: Antique & Classic Boat Show. Visit Clift Park to enjoy dozens of historic boats on display at Skaneateles Pier. The two-day event features a boat parade, contests, and nautical-themed activities. 15 W. Genesee Street, skaneateles.com

July 29–30: 50-mile Route 90 Garage Sale. Extend your day with a 15-mile drive along County Route 90—one of New York State’s scenic byways—between Seneca Falls and Aurora, or drive the entire route to Homer. Every year offers new things to see, with different homeowners participating and various villages and clubs providing food and fun along the way. tourcayuga.com

July 29–30: Canandaigua Lakefront Art Show. Attend the two-day event at Kershaw Park on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake and enjoy regional arts, music, and food. 155 Lakeshore Drive, lakefrontartshow.com

July 29–30: Garden Walk Buffalo. With over 300 private and public gardens in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village and Parkside neighborhoods on display, Garden Walk Buffalo is the most extensive self-guided garden tour in the United States. gardensbuffaloniagara.com

More July Events

Ontario Beach Park Concerts by the Shore
Ontario Beach Park Concerts by the Shore

City of Rochester

Look for Flower City Feeling Good weekly guided bike rides on Wednesday evenings and bi-weekly guided walks on Thursday evenings now through late summer.

Wednesdays, July 5, 12, 19, 26

Thursdays, July 13, 20, 27

Fridays, July 7, 14, 21, 28

July 7

July 13-29

July 14

July 15

July 26

Trains and Trolleys at Twilight tickets

Monroe County

July 1

July 12–15

July 15

July 16–18

July 28-30

July 30–Aug 6

July 29–30

July 29–30

July 29–30

Perry Chalk Art Festival
Perry Chalk Art Festival

Greater Rochester

July 8

July 11–15

July 14–16

July 15–16

July 19–22

July 22–29

July 24–29

July 25–29

June 30, July 1–2

Surrounding Counties

July 11–14

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Which are your favorite July events and activities?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

2 thoughts on “July Events: Rochester’s Red-Hot Celebrations and Activities”

  1. hi Debbie
    I saw there was a walking event for today that was held at the Seneca park zoo at 6pm. but since then, have lost the webpage it was on. I was hoping you might remember the event and let me know where I can find it. I know I haven’t given you a lot to work with so I understand if I’m asking for too much.
    either way, thank you for your time
    Olga

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