Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced a host of fun-filled winter activities to celebrate the holiday season as she lit the Christmas tree in the Atrium of City Hall today.
“This is a special time of year in Rochester, providing opportunities to make memories for our children and the people we love the most,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “This year, we’re especially excited to unveil the City of Rochester Roc Holiday Village, which will provide family fun each weekend leading up to Christmas. Offering ice skating and trolley rides, unique gifts and ‘Santa Land,’ we are bringing Christmas Downtown and making Rochester the place to be for the holidays.”
• Saturday, Dec. 1 Lighting of the Liberty Pole, 4:30 p.m., presented by Mix 100.5, Rochester’s Christmas music station, at the corner of Main Street and Franklin Street. Join iHeart radio personality “the Mayor” Pete Kennedy as he spins holiday music while Santa, Rudolph, elves and mascots greet kids at the Liberty Pole. Then, the time-tested tradition unique to Rochester- the Lighting of the Liberty Pole! Mayor Lovely A. Warren will flip the switch on the 10,000 lights. Parking is free at the Mortimer Street Garage, 25 N. Clinton Ave. from 3 to 8:30 p.m.
Musical Holiday Parade stepping off at the Liberty Pole, 5:15 p.m. to the new Roc Holiday Village Children, parents and well-wishers will follow Mayor Warren and Santa in a festive procession led by local band, Prime Time Brass, from the Liberty Pole to the new Roc Holiday Village at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. Participants may also choose to catch a ride on an old-fashioned trolley to the rink.
Grand Opening of the City of Rochester Roc Holiday Village at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, 5:30 p.m., 353 Court St. A magical indoor, heated Santa Land where you can visit Santa in style! Free ice skating and free skate rentals, sponsored by Wegmans (quantities will be limited, so bring your own skates if you have them!); Local artisans selling unique gifts for everyone on your list; Food and drink; A rotating pop up restaurant and bar; A cool photo experience; Free kid crafts; A giant Christmas tree; Free trolley rides may be taken back to nearby parking garages from the rink until 8:30 p.m. After opening night, Roc Holiday Village will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through December 23. Visit www.rocholidayvillage.com for details.
• Sundays, December 2, 9, & 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Holidays at the Market, City of Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St. Each year, Holidays at the Market features dozens upon dozens of vendors with art, crafts, decorations, holiday food delicacies, gifts, stocking stuffers and much more. Take advantage of a wide selection of holiday trees, wreaths, fresh garlands, and a plethora of other holiday goods and goodies. Families can visit with Santa (from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each event except December 2, when Santa hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), join a caroling karaoke hay ride, decorate a free holiday cookie (while supplies last), and more! For more information, visit www.cityofrochester.gov/holidaysatmarket.
• Monday, Dec. 3 Lighting of the Menorah, 2 p.m., in the City Hall Atrium, 30 Church St. The lighting of the Menorah marks the eight days of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. Sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch of Rochester.
• Saturday Dec. 15 and Sunday Dec. 16. Holiday Cookie Contest, City of Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St. Once again Holidays at the Market will host a community-wide Holiday Cookie Contest. If you'd like to vie for this year's distinctions and prizes (prizes will be coveted Market Gift Tokens), deliver a dozen of your best holiday cookies with a copy of the recipe to the Market Office on Saturday, Dec. 15 between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., or Sunday, Dec. 16 between 9 and 11:30 a.m. Judging will begin at noon on Dec. 16. Winners will be announced on the City of Rochester Public Market’s Facebook and Instagram Pages on Monday morning, Dec. 17.
• Saturday, Dec. 15 Bringing Christmas Downtown, noon to 3 p.m. Presented in partnership with 103.9 WDKX in the Atrium of City Hall, 30 Church St. Free community celebration. Photos with Santa, coat, hat and glove giveaway for children. Breakfast with Santa, 10 a.m. to noon at the Thomas P. Ryan R-Center (pancakes served & gifts from Santa)
• Wednesday, Dec. 19 Edgerton Holiday Celebration, 6 p.m. at Edgerton R-Center, 41 Backus St.
• Friday, Dec. 21
Bounce House Madness, 2 - 4 p.m., Thomas P. Ryan R-Center, 530 Webster Ave.
• Sunday, Dec. 23 Skate with Santa, 1 to 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:45 p.m., Genesee Valley Park Ice Arena, Genesee Valley Park, 131 Elmwood Ave. $2 youth, $3 college students (with ID), $5 adu lts, $14 family maximum. Skate rental is an additional $3.
• Monday, Dec. 31 Family New Year’s Eve Party at the Riverside Convention Center, 6 - 9 p.m. 123 E. Main St. Join family and friends to ring in the New Year. There's a DJ Dance Party, giant bounce houses, obstacle course, airbrush tattoos, photo booths, caricature artists, magician, clowns, popular princess and snowman characters along with Rochester's favorite superhero. Snacks and beverage will be available for purchase.
New Year’s Eve Skate, 5 to 7 p.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, 353 Court St. Free admission. $3 skate rental. Family skate: 5 to 7 p.m.; Adults only (over 16 years old) skate: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Holiday events are sponsored by the City of Rochester. For more information, call 311 (outside the city, call 428-5990) or visit www.cityofrochester.gov