Genesee River Romance

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Stay Tuned for 2016 River Romance

The 2016 River Romance schedule is in development. Learn more about this fun series of events by reading about the 2015 River Romance weekend below.

Rediscover the River. October 2-4, 2015

River Romance weekend celebrates the beauty and majesty of the Genesee River and its surrounding trail and gorge system. Come out and be a part of the myriad of activities taking place along the River – prepare to be informed, inspired and humbled by the Genesee!There would be no Rochester if there was no Genesee River. It is as much an integral part of our past as it is in the success of our future.

River Romance 2015 Schedule

Pre-events: Thursday, October 1


6:30 to 8:30 pm: ROC The Belle Cruise
Enjoy a scenic cruise on the Harbor Town Belle, an 80 ft. paddle wheel charter boat. Destinations include the Genesee River, Lake Ontario shoreline and Irondequoit Bay. Enjoy awesome entertainment in a unique, intimate setting right on the water. The feature band is Tommy Brunett Band w/Alyssa Trahan. Boarding starts at 6 pm. Tickets are $25.00 in advance, $30.00 on the day of the cruise. To learn more and buy tickets: www.rocthebelleboat.com/home

5:30 to 8:30 pm: 41st Annual Community Salute to the Environment
The Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) and Genesee River Watch kick-off River Romance weekend with a celebration of the Genesee River Valley. Enjoy interactive exhibits from local experts, networking, buffet dinner and a brief award ceremony. Event details and tickets: www.geneseeriverwatch.org.
 

Friday, October 2 

6 am to 7 pm: Fall Salmon Run
Daily until November for avid anglers and spectators. Seth Green Drive and Norton Street off St. Paul Boulevard. This section of the Genesee River offers some of the most exciting fishing in New York State. Free.

10:30 am to 2:30 pm: Rundel River to Roof Tour
Meet in the lobby of the Rundel Memorial Building of the Rochester Public Library, 115 South Ave. Led by the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library. Tours leave at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm each day. Free tickets are required and will be handed out at the door on a first-come, first-served basis starting when the library opens at 10 am and until spaces are filled. No advance registration. Space is very limited. Tours will visit the Lower Stacks, where a trap door to the old millrace will be opened for viewing and participants to learn how the river is a natural air conditioner for the building. The tours will also visit the Upper Stacks, where participants may hear about various ghostly experiences staff have had in the building. Tours will stop in the Local History & Genealogy Division and learn about some special items in the library’s collection. A stop on the roof will reveal a spectacular view of the Genesee River and the city. For more information, contact Rebecca Fuss, Director of Programming & Outreach, at 585-428-8350 or Rebecca.Fuss@libraryweb.org. Free.

12 Noon and 2 pm: Walking Tours of the Heritage Trail
Meet on the north side of the Rundel Memorial Building at the corner of Broad Street and South Avenue for a one-mile walking tour of this new urban trail that tells the story of Rochester through its buildings and landmarks. Tour ends at Susan B. Anthony Square Park. Consider buying tickets to visit the Susan B. Anthony House or take a free shuttle back to the Rundel Memorial Building.

1 to 5 pm: Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse Tours
Tour the oldest active surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario (1822); climb the Octagonal Tower for great views of Lake Ontario, explore the Keeper’s House, see the new 4th Order Fresnel Lens and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden. The gift shop will also be open. $3 admission. For further information call 585-621-6179 or visit www.geneseelighthouse.org.

5:30 to 7 pm: Buskers on the Bridge
Corner of Platt Street and Brown’s Race. A scenic spot to check out amazing local talents. Donations accepted. Free.

5:30 to 8:30 pm: Inside Downtown Tour
Visit loft apartments, work/living spaces and more on this tour of repurposed spaces, as Rochester’s former factories and storage buildings are transformed into cool urban apartments. Ticket is good both days, go to the sites in any order. Advance tickets are available at The Landmark Society: 585-546-7029 ext. 11, or www.landmarksociety.org, and at Parkleigh. During tour hours, tickets available at The Legacy Tower at One Bausch and Lomb Place. Advance Tickets are $22 and $25 on the days of the tour while available.

7 to 8 pm: Renew Your Vows on the Banks of the Genesee
Rekindle the romance on the Pont de Rennes Bridge with the High Falls as a dramatic backdrop. Couples, please arrive no later than 6:45 pm. Enjoy a free reception following the event. Also consider heading over to the Genesee Brew House for a tour and/or $2.00 beer tasting.

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS - 7 to 9 pm: Rochester Community Inclusive Rowing Fundraiser Event
Come out and support the Rochester Community Inclusive Rowing program that works to create opportunities in the sport of rowing by developing and delivering programs in rowing instruction and adaptive equipment to people with barriers to the sport. Several 500-meter sprint races will be held under the lights at Genesee Waterways Center with all proceeds from the entry fees going to support rowing programs for veterans with disabilities and other individuals with barriers to rowing. The Genesee Waterways Center is located at 149 Elmwood Avenue. Free.

Saturday, October 3

Events at Maplewood Rose Garden, Lake Ave. & Driving Park

9 am to 3 pm: Guided Tours of RG&E Hydroelectric Facility
Learn how renewable electric energy is produced along the Genesee River. Tour the RG&E Hydroelectric facility located along Middle Falls - including the dam and spill gates operation, river intake/rackhouse and upper level of gate control house. Please note that these are guided tours conducted by RG&E staff and are subject to cancellation should unplanned issues arise. Tours will start at the Middle Falls dam located at the south east end of Lower Falls Park. Free. 
10 to 11 am: Rose Workshop in Maplewood Rose Garden. Learn how to prepare your roses for winter from local rose experts. No registration is required. Meet by the fountain at the Maplewood Rose Garden, corner of Lake Avenue and Driving Park. Free.

10 am to 3 pm: Tours of the Lower Falls and Gorge
Docents from the Maplewood Neighborhood Association will treat visitors to the beauty and history of the Lower Falls of the Genesee. Learn about the five bridges over the gorge, the rivalry between Carthage and Rochester and the river’s transformation from a place of industry to recreation. Tours are about 45 minutes long with the last tour starting about 3 pm. Free.

10 am to 4 pm: Genesee Trail Day at Seneca Park Zoo
Visit the Seneca Park Zoo on Genesee Trail Day and explore the traditions of local Native Americans tied to our area’s natural history. Explore the Zoo’s clan animals with touch table stations at each exhibit. Local biodiversity experts will teach zoo guests about the wildlife that relies on the Genesee River. Free with zoo admission.

11 am to 3 pm: Maplewood Rose Garden
Enjoy food and refreshments for sale as a fundraiser for the Northwest Rotary, rest and replenish for the day’s hikes and biking expeditions.

2 to 4 pm: Walking Tour of the proposed Garden Aerial and Rochester Eco-District in High Falls
Garden Aerial is part of a plan to sustainably redevelop the High Falls area into a world-class public green space while preserving its natural and historic character. Learn all about plans to create New York State’s first EcoDistrict on this tour led by the staff of Greentopia, the organization overseeing the project. Meet at the west end of the Pont de Rennes Bridge at Platt Street & Brown’s Race. Free.

5:30 to 8 pm: Zydeco Music - Stardust Ballroom, 41 Backus St.
Dance to live Zydeco music by Black Rock Zydeco. Lessons by local experts will get you moving. Cajun food will be available for purchase.

7:45 pm Fireworks in the Lower Falls Gorge

Other events along the Genesee River

8 am to 4:30 pm: 27th Annual Head of the Genesee Regatta
This two-day event is one of New York State’s premier rowing regattas and is expected to draw more than 350 racing entries. Viewing on the foot bridge over the Genesee River and along the east river bank is ideal. The Head of the Genesee Regatta will take place at the Genesee Waterways Center, 149 Elmwood Avenue (behind the Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex). Free.

10 am to 3 pm: Open Non-motorized Boat Launch
Turning Point Park boat launch. The park gate at the end of Boxart Street will be open for the day to transport your craft to the launch. Vehicles MUST be parked in the Boxart Street parking lot after unloading.

10 am to 5 pm: High Falls Interpretive Center and Museum
Located in a refurbished 19th-century Waterworks Building overlooking the Genesee River’s majestic High Falls, the museum has an interesting selection of hands-on, multi-media exhibits to engage children, as well as interpretive displays, artwork, photographs, and artifacts for adult audiences. Learn something new about your city! The museum and visitors center is located at 74 Browns Race. Free.

10:30 am to 2:30 pm: Rundel River to Roof Tour
Meet in the lobby of the Rundel Memorial Building of the Rochester Public Library, 115 South Ave. Led by the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library. Tours leave at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm each day. Free tickets are required and will be handed out at the door on a first-come, first-served basis starting when the library opens at 10 am, and until the day’s spaces are filled. No advance registration. Space is limited. Tours will visit the Lower Stacks, where a trap door to the old millrace will be opened for viewing and participants can learn how the river is a natural air conditioner for the building. The tours will also visit the Upper Stacks, where participants may hear about various ghostly experiences staff have had in the building. Tours will stop in the Local History & Genealogy Division to learn about some special items in the library’s collection. A stop on the roof will reveal a spectacular view of the Genesee River and the city. For more information, contact Rebecca Fuss, Director of Programming & Outreach, at 585-428-8350 or Rebecca.Fuss@libraryweb.org. Free.

11 am to 4 pm: Inside Downtown Tour
Visit loft apartments, work/living spaces and more in this tour of repurposed spaces, as Rochester’s former factories and storage buildings are transformed into cool urban apartments. Ticket is good both days, go to the sites in any order. Advance tickets are available at The Landmark Society: 585-546-7029 ext. 11, or www.landmarksociety.org, and at Parkleigh. During tour hours, tickets available at The Legacy Tower at One Bausch and Lomb Place. Advance Tickets are $22 and $25 on the days of the tour while available.

11 am: Tour of Corn Hill Neighborhood and History
Our city is named for Nathaniel Rochester who, along with his friends, William Fitzhugh and Charles Carroll, purchased a One Hundred Acre Tract of land on the west side of the Genesee River. There he laid out a village. But there was competition from another village on the east side of the river. Two engineering feats determined which one would succeed. Come hear how this dramatic story unfolded. Tour leaves from the Waterspirit sculpture at the south end of Corn Hill Landing, 290 Exchange Blvd. The walking tour is free.

11:30 am to 12:30 pm: Turning Point Park Rain Gardens
Learn about the newly redesigned Turning Point Park rain gardens. Topics discussed will include the theory behind rain gardens, construction methods, and perennials that thrive in rain garden conditions. Presentations will start at the parking lot off of Boxart Street. Free.

12 noon, 1 pm and 2 pm Historic Aqueduct Talk and Slide Show
Members of the New York State Canal Society will provide a short talk and slide show that will help you to enjoy and interpret your walk through the historic aqueduct. Meet at the third floor conference room, Rundel Memorial Building of the Rochester Public Library, 115 South Ave. Free.

12 Noon to 3 pm: Historic Aqueduct Open
Enter from South Ave, behind the Dinosaur Barbeque. Get a glimpse of Rochester’s historic underbelly and hear about proposals for future development. Volunteers from the Canal Society of New York State will be strategically placed in the Aqueduct to provide history and insights about this unique Downtown Aqueduct. Free.

1 to 2 pm: Music (Brass) in the Aqueduct
Join us in Rochester’s most unique music venue, the 1842 Erie Canal Aqueduct, for a concert by a brass quintet composed of Eastman School of Music students. Free.

1 to 3 pm: Guided Bike Ride from the High Falls District and Beyond
Meet at the Pont de Rennes Bridge and travel along the Genesee Riverway Trail and by road into surrounding neighborhoods. Ride through Downtown Rochester, Genesee Valley Park, Corn Hill and Susan B. Anthony Neighborhoods. This is a 10-mile ride on flat terrain, city roads and paved trail. Helmets required. Free.

1 to 5 pm: Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse Tours
Tour the oldest active surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario (1822); climb the Octagonal Tower for great views of Lake Ontario. Explore the Keeper’s House, see the new 4th Order Fresnel Lens and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden. The gift shop will also be open. $3 admission. For further information call 585-621-6179 or visit www.geneseelighthouse.org.

5 to 7 pm: Family Skate at Genesee Valley Ice Rink
131 Elmwood Ave. Open skate fees: 17 and under, $2; 18 and over $5. College students $3 with ID. Skate rental $3.
Call 585-428-7888.

Sunday, October 4


Events at Ontario Beach Park, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Charlotte and more.

11 am to 4 pm: Autumn at the Lake.

Ontario Beach Park, Lake Avenue at Beach
Avenue. Bring the whole family to a day of fun featuring hayrides, pumpkin decorating, Rec on the Move recreation vehicles, historic exhibits, free rides on the Dentzel Carousel and children’s activities. Charlotte history books, refreshments and merchandise will be available for purchase. Sponsored by the Ontario Beach Park Program Committee and the Charlotte Community Association. Free.

11 am to 4 pm: One Cubic Foot at Ontario Beach
Stop by the Seneca Park Zoo Society’s One Cubic Foot booth (you’ll recognize it by the giant green cube!). Learn about the recent initiative to assess the health of the Genesee River by examining how many creatures exist in one cubic foot along the shore of the Genesee River. Free.

1 to 2 pm: Charlotte Cemetery Tour
Explore Charlotte Cemetery, burial place for many early settlers of the city’s northwest side, including famed daredevil Sam Patch. View the restoration work done by the Navy Seabee Veterans. Sponsored by the Charlotte Community Association. Meet on Lake Avenue at River Street. Additional parking is available at the Ira Jacobson Post Home on St. John’s Park. Free event.

1 to 3 pm: Guided Bike Ride from Seneca Park to the Port of Rochester
This scenic tour with spectacular views of the river gorge, will take riders along the Genesee Riverway Trail, through Turning Point Park on a 4,000 foot boardwalk, and under the O’Rorke Bridge. This is a 12-mile ride on a paved trail with a few moderate hills. Meet at Seneca Park Zoo parking lot. Helmet required. Free.

1 to 5 pm: Charlotte Genesee Lighthouse Tours
Tour the oldest active surviving lighthouse on Lake Ontario (1822); climb the Octagonal Tower for great views of Lake Ontario, explore the Keeper’s House, see the new 4th Order Fresnel Lens and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden. The gift shop will also be open.
$3 admission. Call 585-621-6179 or visit www.geneseelighthouse.org.

2 to 2:30 pm: WPA Murals of Charlotte High School
Join Charlotte High School archivist Marie Poinan in the Auditorium for a talk on the installation of eight murals by artist Carl Peters in 1942 and hear the story of their 2009 restoration. Sponsored by the Charlotte High Archivists and Class of 1945. Commemorative posters and note cards will be available for purchase. Free.

3 to 3:30 pm: Tour of Charlotte High School campus
Meet at the front door to take a guided tour of the remodeled building which is now home to the RCSD’s Leadership Academy for Young Men. Visit the Charlotte High archives in the 5th floor rotunda. Commemorative books on the school history will be available for purchase. Charlotte was one of twelve schools remodeled in the School Modernization Program, receiving recognition from the Rochester chapter of the AIA in the Interior Design category. Not recommended for children under 10. Free.

Other events along the Genesee River

8 am to 4:30 pm: 27th Annual Head of the Genesee Regatta and Mini-food Truck Rodeo
Sunday features high school and masters rowers as well as a rowing clinic in Genesee Valley Park near the roundhouse pavilion on Moore Road. Coaches from the Genesee Waterways Center will have staff available to introduce folks to rowing. Enjoy the activities on the river and learn how you can participate in this sport. The two-day event is one of New York State’s premier rowing regattas and is expected to draw more than 350 racing entries. Viewing on the foot bridge over the Genesee River and along the east river bank is ideal for spectators. Free.

11 am: Tour of Corn Hill Neighborhood
Our city is named for Nathaniel Rochester who, along with his friends William Fitzhugh and Charles Carroll, purchased a One Hundred Acre Tract of land on the west side of the Genesee River. There he laid out a village. But there was competition from another village on the east side of the river. Two engineering feats determined which one would succeed. Come hear how this dramatic story unfolded. Tour leaves from the Waterspirit sculpture at the south end of Corn Hill Landing, 290 Exchange Blvd. The walking tour is free.

11 am to 4 pm: High Falls Interpretive Center and Museum
High Falls Interpretive Center and Museum. Located in a refurbished 19th-century Waterworks Building overlooking the Genesee River’s majestic high falls, the museum has an interesting selection of hands-on, multi-media exhibits to engage children, as well as interpretive displays, artwork, photographs and artifacts for adult audiences. Learn something new about your city! The museum and visitors center is located at 74 Browns Race. Free.

10 am to 2 pm: Guided Paddle Along the Genesee from Seth Green to Ontario Beach Park
Join us for an enjoyable and educational row along the Genesee River. Sites of interest to include: Lower Falls, Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, Seneca Park, Riverside Cemetery, Turning Point Park and more. Cost is $15.00 per person, includes canoe or kayak rental. Maximum two adults per canoe. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is required: geneseewaterways.org/rentals_offer.htm. Call 585-820-8860 with questions. Meet at the boat launch site on Portside Drive (off Lake Avenue). Look for signs to Guided Paddle.

1 to 7 pm: Family Skate at Genesee Valley Ice Rink
131 Elmwood Ave. Fees: 17 and under $2; 18 and over $5, College students $3 with ID. Skate rental, $3. For more information, call 585-428-7888.

12 pm to 5 pm: Sam Patch Cruises along the Genesee
Cruises leave from Corn Hill Landing every hour, on the hour with the last tour leaving at 5 pm. Tickets are $5
per person (under 3-years old free). Food and drink are available for purchase.
For details and reservations please visit www.sampatch.org.

2 to 4 pm: Mount Hope Cemetery Walking Tour
Meet at the North Cemetery Entrance, 791 Mount Hope Ave., opposite Robinson Drive. Tour includes both paved roads and uneven terrain. Learn about local history and famous Rochesterians, including Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, the horticulture, geology, physical geography, architecture, symbolism and more of this historic gem. $5.00 per person. Free for members. For more information:
585-461-3494 or go to www.fomh.org.

   

 15-RR-at-a-glance 

2015 Community Partners

Community Partners:

Zoom in on the River

View Gigapan images of the Genesee  

Gigapan-River-Romance  

Corn Hill From East  

West Bank Panorama  

High Falls In Summer  

For More Information

Contact the Department of Recreation and Youth Services at (585) 428-6755, or call 311 (if you're outside the city, dial 585-428-5990).