Imagine RIT Returns to Wow Rochester for a Second Year on May 2

Innovation and Creativity Festival serves as a showcase for technology and the arts

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A. Sue Weisler

A throng of 17,000 visited RIT for last year’s first Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. This year’s festival, on May 2, will feature more than 400 exhibits.

The Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival is again poised to kick off Rochester’s festival season May 2. Visitors can make a smoothie while pedaling a bike, eat a hot dog prepared by a robot, learn how vegetable oil can power a Mercedes, take a spin on a Segway and explore more than 400 other interactive exhibits.

Imagine RIT takes place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2, on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus and features hands-on fun for all ages. Multiple stages across campus will feature a variety of musical and theatrical performances. The talents of RIT artists will also be on display, as they demonstrate glass blowing, design metal and wood sculptures and transform clay on the potter’s wheel.

Admission is free. Parking is available on the RIT campus on a first-come, first-serve basis. Free shuttle service from Monroe Community College begins at 9 a.m. Festival-goers can build an itinerary for the day by visiting

Imagine RIT’s mission goes beyond showcasing the thriving RIT campus. In these turbulent economic times, businesses are searching for innovative answers to long-time problems. Organizers suggest the festival may go a long way toward offering some solutions.

“We see the festival as a call to national service,” says RIT President Bill Destler. “Innovation is one of our country’s most competitive and strategic advantages. Today’s young Americans walk to the beat of their own drummer, and their desire to be different is an innate American characteristic. Channeling that passion in constructive ways will foster leadership in technical innovation and creative ideas for new products and services.”

Rochester General Health System serves as this year’s festival partner, leading a group of more than 50 official Imagine RIT sponsors.

Media note: Imagine RIT is preceded by “Dr. Destler’s Green Vehicle Challenge,” where teams of RIT students, faculty and staff compete custom-made vehicles against RIT President Bill Destler’s electric bicycle to determine which can consume the least amount of energy while navigating a three-mile course around campus. The event begins at 9 a.m. in front of the Student Alumni Union. Media are welcome to cover the competition. All entries will be displayed during the festival in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center.