Besides its rich historical background and famed colleges and university, Rochester NY is well known for the wide variety of festivals and events that it offers year round to residents and visitors. There is never a lack of things to do in Rochester, as long as you know where to look. In this article, we’ll review a few of the different options for those interested in Rochester NY events.


Rochester has a formidable schedule of festivals, ranging from smaller ethnic festivals like the Puerto Rican and Ukrainian festivals to enormous art and music festivals occupying weekends and blocks.

  • The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, established in 2002, is one of the largest Jazz Festivals in the country and is held in late June at a variety of clubs, concert halls, and free outdoor venues throughout the downtown area. Performances in the past have included Aretha Franklin, James Brown, G. Love and Special Sauce, and Herbie Hancock.
  • Park Avenue Festival annually takes place at the beginning of August and draws over 250,000 people to quaint Park Avenue. Artists, restaurants, and hundreds of other merchants provide plenty for patrons to look at while more than 60 musical groups perform on street stages.
  • The Lilac Festival is the most famous of Rochester events and is the largest event of its kind in North America. Over 500,000 people attend each year to see the lilacs, food vendors, craft tents, and free concerts put on by major musical acts.
  • Rochester Fringe Festival
  • began only last year and drew over 32,000 attendees. A hundred and twenty different productions performed at more than 20 venues, including theatre, comedy, visual art, music, dance, physical theatre, street theatre, and plenty of other performance art varieties. Returning in 2013, Fringe Fest will boast a spiegeltent, an old fashioned circus tent housing aerial displays, a silent disco, and a magic mirror experience.


Rochester’s Blue Cross Arena is not only home to the Rochester Americans ice hockey team and the Rochester Knighthawks lacrosse team, but frequently hosts events in Rochester including major musical acts. The last year saw performances by Green Day, Blink 182, Wiz Khalifa, R. Kelly, Bruce Springsteen, Weezer, and many more. Events in Rochester also include a number of concert performances at the city’s smaller venues like the Armory, Water Street, and the Bug Jar.

With all of its events Rochester has drawn thousands of visitors each year and often entices college students to make the city their permanent home. Rochester events are famed for their unique spirit, scale, and interest. Coupled with the city’s thriving public market, diversity, and wide range of educational opportunities, Rochester events are a major factor for the thousands who choose to make Rochester, NY home.