The 2018 Summer Festival Season in Rochester

The 2018 Summer Festival Season in Rochester

In Rochester, it seems like we have to deal with what always seems like a never-ending winter, now that the weather is finally warming up, the city is coming alive. If you’re in town over the summer, you won’t be bored because Rochester transforms from the “Flower City” to “Festival City” and is packed full of interesting people and events from late spring to the beginning of fall. Here are just a few of the events we’re most excited for:

Party in the Park Every Thursday night until August 2nd

Every Thursday night until Aug 2nd, Martin Luther King Jr. Park in downtown transforms into a music lover’s paradise. Now in its 21st year, this recurring event features music of all genres, from blues to funk, from reggae to classic rock, surely to satisfy everyone’s musical niche. General admission tickets are $5 and you can get them, along with more info about the lineup, on their website.

Midtown EATS Every other Thursday from June-August

If you love food, this is the place to be. Every other Thursday from June to August, the Midtown Pedestrian Walkway turns into a foodie’s paradise. This outdoor dining event lets you sample unique offerings from noteworthy local eateries. This year, some of the vendors include (but are not limited to) Nosh, Simply Crepes, Sticky Lips BBQ, Sultan, and Abbott’s, and much more! Entry and smells are free, and food and drink can be purchased separately from each of the vendors. To stay up to date with the festival, you can either visit their website or follow them on facebook!

Rochester Women’s Bike Festival June 8th

Want to know more about your bike, its maintenance and upkeep? This festival features a full day of workshops targeted towards beginner women riders and women who want to make bikes a tool for transportation that address visiting bike shops, bike mechanics, road safety, how to dress comfortably, and much more. You can expect vendor tables, a prize drawing, and bikes for test riding. Anyone who identifies as a woman is welcome! The event is free but has limited registration for the hands-on workshops. For more information or to register, you can visit the website

Western NY Pottery Festival June 16th and 17thceramic-3050615_1280.jpg

Although at the core, the festival in a juried, clay-exclusive show, where over 20 local and national clay artists showcase their work. However, the weekend also consists of numerous demonstrations, an opportunity to paint your own raku firing, and a Clay Olympics where vendors compete in disciplines such as throwing the tallest cylinder or blindfolded throwing – all under 5 minutes! You won’t want to miss this event and an opportunity to cheer on your favorite potter. Admission is $1 and includes a raffle entry.

Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival June 22nd through the 30th

Who would have known that right in our backyard is one of the nation’s most respected jazz festivals, one that has featured names such as Nora Jones, Aretha Franklin, and the Blues Brothers Band. This 9-day, renowned festival brings into town close to 200,000 visitors and hosts events in multiple venues throughout the city. The festival has both free shows as well as ticketed, reserved-seating Kodak Hall performances and Club Pass Series shows. For more information about the shows, or to purchase tickets, you can visit their website http://rochesterjazz.comperformance-3202707_1280.jpg

JCC Rochester Jewish Film Festival July 8th through the 16th

If you’re not into the whole sunshine, outside thing – we have an option for you! This festival started in 2001 as a way to showcase the best contemporary Jewish themed films from around the world, right here in Rochester. Not only does this event promote awareness and provide in the Jewish community, it also serves as a forum for community gathering and open discussion while providing a stage for filmmakers who are exploring Jewish themes in their work. Here is the link to purchase tickets.

Park Ave Summer Arts Festival August 4th and 5thNEW-Logo.png

One of Rochester’s beloved festivals – held in the Park Ave. neighborhood, known for its beautiful architecture and hip urban atmosphere. The street is closed for vehicle traffic and stretches a full 1.25 miles from Alexander Street to Culver Road, transforming into a one-of-a-kind shopping experience as over 350 vendors and artists from the US and Canada line the street. Admission to the festival is free.

M&T Bank Clothesline Festival September 8th and 9th

Rochester’s largest and longest running fine arts and crafts festival that features over 400 artists. The $5 admission cost also covers admission into the Memorial Art Gallery – so if you have been itching to visit the museum, this is a great opportunity to do so. The festival also has live entertainment from 11-4:30 both days, family craft workshops, and if you snoop around, you might even find local favorites like Pittsford Farms Dairy serving up some delicious grub. To find out more about the festival, visit their website.

What festivals or events are you most excited for this summer?

Lea is an Industrial Design student with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Outside of writing for Behind the Bricks, Lea dedicates her time on campus to Cru, and she loves trying unusual ice cream flavors, swing dancing, and bullet journaling.

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