“Festival season” in Rochester runs from mid-May to early-September. There are, of course, hundreds of annual events throughout the greater Rochester area, even in the middle of winter. For now, we’ll just focus on the six most popular summertime Rochester festivals!
Rochester Lilac Festival
Lilac Fest is a week-long food & music festival celebrating Rochester’s lilac collection in Highland Park. There are early evening concerts with smaller performances throughout the day—all free!
Rochester International Jazz Festival
Jazz Fest is a week-long music event with performances throughout the city, centralized on Rochester’s East End and Eastman Theatre. There are ticketed events for major headliners and club performances, plus dozens of free concerts on outdoor stages.
Corn Hill Arts Festival
Corn Hill Fest is a weekend art & music festival in Rochester’s historic Corn Hill neighborhood. It originated in 1968.
Park Ave Summer Art Festival
Park Ave Fest is a weekend art & music festival in Rochester’s historic Park Ave neighborhood. It extends 1¼ miles from Alexander Street to Culver Road. Not only are there vendors set up along each side of the street, Park Ave merchants are open offering even more shopping and dining options.
The weekend arts festival is held on the Memorial Art Gallery grounds. It originated in 1957. Your Clothesline Festival stamp also includes museum admission!
Rochester Fringe Festival
The 12-day-long Fringe Fest features hundreds of shows of which half are Fringe-produced, and half are venue-curated talent. Centered in Rochester’s East End, you’ll find crowd-favorites like the Spiegelgarden, Spiegeltent, Pedestrian Drive-In, and major Friday-Saturday events like Plasticiens Volants in Pearl: Secrets of the Sea Sept 13 & 14, and Massaoke Sept. 20 & 21 . There are even special Kid’s Day events!
Looking for more City of Rochester festivals and events?
Food Truck Rodeo, last Wednesday night of the month, April through September
Fast Forward Film Festival, April
Zoo Brew, Fridays nights, once a month May through September, with special events throughout the year
Party in the Park, Thursday nights, June through August
Concerts by the Shore, Wednesday nights, June through August
Maplewood Rose Festival, June
Bands on the Bricks, Friday nights, July and August
Middays at Midtown, noon-2pm Wednesdays, July and August
ROC Pride Week, July
Little Italy Festival, July
Rochester International Air Show, August
Puerto Rican Festival, August
Gateway Music Festival, biennial in August
Ukrainian Arts & Craft Festival, August
Rochester Teen Film Festival, August
Rochester VegFest, September
ROC the Riverway Weekend, October
Rochester Fashion Week, October
Seneca Park ZooBoo, October
Rochester Maker Faire, November
High Falls Film Festival, November
It’s a Wonderful Life in the South Wedge, December
Whether it’s your first date night in Rochester or 50th, spending time exploring with your partner is a great way to connect and learn about each other.
The term street art means different things to different people. Here, we interpret street art to mean any outdoor, free, public wall art.
Rochester became a global center for flower and tree nurseries in the mid-1800s, fostering our identity as The Flower City.
Which are your favorite Rochester festivals?
Share with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!