Rochester has a new series of free events and activities that showcases downtown’s assets. Downtown Definitely Events, produced by the Rochester Development Corp., will offer experiences that aim at connecting the community. Eight new Downtown Definitely events were announced today: Midday Bash, RPO Under the Stars, Window Walk, Movies with a Downtown View, Market Place, Eat Up Roc, Fall Fest, and Lantern Parade.
A new online Downtown Events Calendar and the Activate Spaces Program will provide support for downtown events initiated by the community, officials say.
“This is all about placemaking. We’re so excited to be launching this new series of events and programming downtown,” says Heidi Zimmer-Meyer, president of RDDC and executive director of the Rochester Downtown Partnership. “We couldn’t do it without the enthusiasm, creativity, and support of an incredible group of partners. A vibrant downtown is critical to retaining talent, regional economic growth, and greater community pride.”
The city of Rochester is partnering with Downtown Definitely on four events: RPO Under the Stars, Movies with a Downtown View, Fall Festival and Lantern Parade.
“Events in Rochester put a special emphasis on our downtown and these new additions are no exception,” says Mayor Malik Evans. “The programming announced today is the perfect addition to our busy summer events season.”
Joseph Stefko, president and CEO of ROC2025 and chair of Rochester Downtown Partnership, notes that the face of downtown is changing with new projects, including ROC the Riverway and Aqueduct Reimagined.
“Today’s announcement marks another important step: the launch of a new strategy to activate key public spaces in exciting, engaging, and inclusive ways,” he says.
The Activate Spaces Program will provide support to multiple community-based activities—one-time events, outdoor programming or other street activation ideas. Applications will be accepted for events that will take place in September 2022 or later.
“The kind of support could vary,” says Jenna Knauf, owner of the Bella Events Group, who is coordinating the program. “We don’t know what we don’t know, so when the applications come in and we see what people need we can better determine how we can help. For example, it could be for consultation, sponsorship opportunities, or small grants for permits and insurance.”
The goal for the Downtown Events Calendar, says Zimmer-Meyer, is to provide information for anyone looking for a fun activity in the city.
“We will be promoting the calendar and spotlighting activities in our upcoming communication, so we encourage anyone planning and holding events downtown to add their events to this new downtown calendar so it will be as comprehensive as possible,” she says.
Here is a closer look at the events announced today:
11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wednesday, June 8 | Thursday, July 14
Thursday, Aug. 11 | Wednesday, Sept. 7
Midday Bash will feature various food trucks, stretches led by Vault fitness studio, live musical performances, games, prizes, and more.
RPO Under the Stars
Friday, July 8 from 6 to 10 p.m.
For the first time since 2018, the full Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Center City for a free outdoor concert.
Season 1 – July to September
Season 2 – November to December
Window Walk is a series of seasonal, temporary window-based murals and art created by local artists to help enhance the vibrancy on the streets of downtown Rochester.
Movies with a Downtown View
Friday, July 15 | Friday, Aug. 5 | Friday, Aug. 26
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
MLK Park and Roc City Skatepark
Movies with a Downtown View is produced in partnership with the city and the Washington Square Community Association.
Saturday, July 30 Noon to 5 p.m.
A mix of makers of clothing, jewelry and textiles will showcase their wares. Creation stations, where attendees can learn directly from creators and business owners on how to make what they specialize in, are also part of the Market Place event.
Eat Up Roc
Thursday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 18
Downtown Rochester A
new interpretation of restaurant week, Eat Up Roc will include all food and beverage businesses in the downtown Rochester neighborhood, which will be invited to present a unique dish or drink based on a theme.
Saturday, Oct. 1, Noon – 6 p.m.
Downtown will become a destination for free autumn festivities including carnival games, concessions, music, and a homecoming theme where students of all ages can come show their school spirit. Lantern Parade Saturday, Dec. 3From Liberty Pole to Roc Holiday Village Community members will have an opportunity to visit various Rochester businesses to make their own festive lanterns.
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name.