- May 28-30, Roc City Rib Fest. Looking for a finger-licking good time on a beach for Memorial Day Weekend? Stay-cationers and out-of-towners, eat your heart out.
- June 10-18, Rochester Jazz Fest. My focus is always on free, but if you don’t mind throwing down a little green, big hitters like Elvis Costello, Natalie Cole and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones will be there as well.
- June 25, Rochester Real Beer Expo. No I don’t drink beer, but seeing how this festival is going to take place on my street, in my beloved South Wedge neighborhood, with many of my favorite stomping grounds participating, I’ll be there.
- July 9-10, Cornhill Arts Festival. The Cornhill neighborhood emanates cuteness. Explore this quaint little neighborhood by the Genesee River while passing through booths with local artwork.
- July 23, Ten Ugly Men. I have to admit that I’ve never been to this sporting/drinking/music fest, but it offers a heck of a lot of things to do for a very good cause.
- Aug. 6-7, Park Avenue Festival. Arts and crafts, free entertainment, food and drinks at lovely local establishments, the beautiful city scape on Park Avenue…Need I say more?
- Aug. 27, Fairport Music and Food Festival. The little village of Fairport, tucked snugly beside the famed Erie Canal, puts on a great annual festival with three stages for live entertainment, lots of local food and drink and a healthy serving of the pride, which is palpable among this jovial, tightly knit community of villagers.
- Sept. 10-11, Clothesline Art Festival. My favorite arts festival of the year takes place at the Memorial Art Gallery. My mom’s beloved jewelers come to town and we love seeing the new additions to their collections and talking with them about how each hand-crafted bracelet, necklace and pair of earrings came to be until we find the perfect ones to pre-purchase for Christmas and birthday presents. It’s the perfect place to go for special mother-daughter time.
Admittedly, Rochester’s festivals may not be the most eclectic events in the world, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to enjoy the outdoors, get to know the local culture and ruminate in the Rochester community, attending a summer festival is your best bet. Hope you enjoyed this guide! Feel free to post comments with tips or notes about your favorites.