Special Sections » Festivals Preview

The best fest time of year


If you're like us in the CITY newsroom, there was a point in early April where you got frustrated. Actually, "frustrated" may be too soft of a word. How about enraged? Let's say there were strong feelings at seeing yet more snow and below freezing temperatures.

But the cold did finally pass and right now, it's — knock on wood — 74 degrees. We can hope for a warm, bright spring and summer. And with the sunshine comes a little something for everyone. For almost 20 weeks, the Greater Rochester Area will be home to dozens of festivals, from celebrating Highland Park's flowers (the Lilac Festival) and the Erie Canal (Low Bridge, High Water in Fairport and the Spencerport Canal Days) to parties revolving around the region's music, arts, and food and drink.

Big festivals like the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival and the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival will fill downtown Rochester in June and September. But every weekend will bring out one-day or weekend-long neighborhood celebrations, like the 19th Ward Square Fair on June 2, and the new North Winton Village Festival of the Arts in September.

Inside this annual Festival Preview Guide, CITY rounds-up the dates and details of all of those festivals, which we hope will be useful in planning your summer.

Among all of the upcoming festivals are celebrations of the diverse cultures that make up Rochester. Many communities will display their unique arts, dances, and music, but one of the quickest ways a person can connect to another culture's traditions is through its food. Read more here.

And 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Corn Hill Arts Festival, which has become a tentpole event not only for the Corn Hill Neighborhood but for Rochester's summer season. Learn more about the festival's history, and what goes into creating their iconic annual posters. You can find more here.

As the festival season gets going, CITY will be adding updated information and new festivals to this online guide. And if there's something you feel we should know, leave us a comment below.

In This Guide...