The Downtown Definitely events series has begun its second year.
Produced by Rochester Downtown Development Corp., the series of free events and activities launched in 2022. The series, which includes food, festivals, music and movies, began last week and will end in October.
The first Midday Bash, one of eight in the series, kicked off this week. Midday Bash offers quick lunch options with local food trucks, games and other activities. This year, each bash will feature local businesses through a new partnership program. On Wednesday, downtown business PopROC, a “pop culture cafe and geek hub,” was in focus.
The Movies with a Downtown View lineup includes a few blockbusters including “Top Gun Maverick” and “The Goonies.” The screenings at Parcel 5 are free and geared toward families. Food and drink are available at the venue.
Then, there’s a free concert on July 7 at Parcel 5. The first in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Centennial Summer Season, RPO Under the Stars will feature symphonic jazz hits and original compositions. RPO trumpeter Herb Smith will be featured soloist on a program with selections from Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and Cab Calloway.
“I thought, for these concerts, this would be a great way to showcase Rochester’s jazz roots,” says Jeff Tyzik, principal pops conductor, who will lead the concert. “And coming on the tail end of Rochester Jazz Fest, we’re going to keep it going for a while.”
For those interested in looking at the stars, sidewalk astronomy might do the trick. Telescopes, courtesy of the Rochester Museum & Science Center, will be set up for concertgoers.
RPO Under the Stars is presented by the city of Rochester in partnership with Downtown Definitely events. The evening of music starts at 6:30 p.m. with Mike Gladstone and Rob Smith of Junkyardfieldtrip.
“We are pleased to join forces with the city of Rochester again in inviting music lovers of all ages to one of our city’s wonderful open-air spaces for an evening of free music,” says Galin Brooks, president and CEO of RDDC. “The RPO’s distinguished musicians will showcase a blend of symphonic jazz hits and original compositions offering an opportunity to bring people together from across the region, connecting them with phenomenal cultural resources right in their own backyard.”
A new event titled “Play Day on the Riverway,” takes place on Aug. 5. Part of ROC the Riverway, the outdoor event will connect the Rundel Memorial Library to the ROC City Skatepark and the Rundell Library North Terrace. A scavenger hunt, walking tour, storytelling, live music and food await attendees.
The Downtown Definitely series ends with a fall fest with autumn activities. In total, the series has 15 events.
Smriti Jacob is Rochester Beacon managing editor. The Beacon welcomes comments and letters from readers who adhere to our comment policy including use of their full, real name. Submissions to the Letters page should be sent to [email protected].