Holiday Events in Rochester 2015


Whether it's the bustling holiday shoppers at the Public Market or the excited children dazzled by the site of the Liberty Pole, the city helps put you in the holiday spirit. Each year, the City of Rochester sponsors free, family-friendly holiday events for all to enjoy.

City Hall Holiday Tree Lighting

Friday, December 4 at 11 a.m.
City Hall Atrium Tree Lighting Ceremony, 30 Church St.

Join Mayor Warren as she lights the tree in the beautiful City Hall Atrium. Santa will pay a special visit and choirs from the Rochester City School District’s George Mather Forbes School No. 4 and the School of the Arts will perform. 

 Light Up the Holidays Downtown

Saturday, December 5 at 4:30 p.m.
Liberty Pole Plaza & MLK Park
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Listen to the holiday sounds of Vocal Point and the YellowJackets, student a capella groups from the University of Rochester! Meet Santa, Rudolph, Frosty, and Mayor Warren as we light the Liberty Pole! Then join a festive, musical parade with the characters and the sounds of Prime Time Brass as we march from the Liberty Pole to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, where we'll watch fireworks, ice skate, and enjoy the holidays downtown!holidays-parade-2 

Liberty Pole Lighting at Liberty Pole Plaza, 4:30 p.m. Watch a holiday performance from the Rochester Latino Theatre League and listen to the sounds of Prime Time Brass for a time-tested tradition unique to Rochester as Mayor Warren flips the switch on the 10,000 lights of the Liberty Pole at East Main Street and East Avenue. Costumed characters, Santa will be available to take photos with families. Parking is free at the East End Garage, 475 E. Main St., and the Washington Square Garage, 111 Woodbury Blvd. from 3 to 8:30 p.m.

Holiday Parade stepping off at the Liberty Pole, 5:15 p.m. Children, parents and well-wishers will follow Mayor Warren, Santa, Rudolph and other costumed characters along with the Rochester Fire Department’s hook and ladder fire truck to the music of Prime Time Brass in a procession from the Liberty Pole to the ice rink at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. Participants may choose to catch a ride on an ole’ time trolley to the rink.

Fireworks, Ice Skating, and Family Activities at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 5:30 p.m. Parade-goers will be greeted with ground fireworks at the ice rink, next to a fully-decorated 30-foot holiday tree. Free open skate to holiday music will be provided by Beal’s Rock and Roll Review. (Bring your own skates if possible. Limited skate rental for $3 per person.) Refreshments and food will be available for purchase. Families can take free horse-drawn wagon rides around the park. To warm up, the MLK Park Lodge will be open and feature free crafts and Rec-on-the-Move activities. Free trolley rides may be taken back to nearby parking garages from the rink until 8:30 p.m. 

Parking: FREE trolley rides may be taken back to nearby parking from the rink until 8:30 p.m. FREE Parking is available at the East End Garage, 475 E. Main St. and Washington Sq. Garage, 111 Woodbury Blvd.

Lighting of the Menorah at City Hall

Sunday, December 6 at 5 p.m.
City Hall Atrium, 30 Church St.

The lighting of the Menorah marks the eight days of Hanukkah (begins at sundown on Dec. 16). Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights. Sponsored by Chabad–Lubavitch of Rochester.

A City Sings for the Season

Sunday, December 6 at 3 p.m.
The Sibley Building
25 Franklin St.
Eric Townell Director

The Rochester Oratorio Society (ROS), Special guests the Spiritus Christi Choir, ROCMusic Collaborative, and the Hochstein Youth Singers. The price of admission is your charitable donation of a non-perishable food item or personal hygiene item, to be collected at the door to benefit the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network. 

Holidays at the MarketHolidays-at-the-market-vend

Sunday December 6 and 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St.

All the details 

Enjoy a unique holiday shopping experience at the 107-year-old Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St. Festive decorations will greet shoppers as they choose from the largest selection of fresh cut trees and wreaths in the area. Numerous vendors will offer art, crafts, decorations, holiday food delicacies, gift items, stocking stuffers and more. Shoppers are invited to stop in and taste microbrewed beer at Rohrbach’s, sample fresh-baked breads and sweets at the Union Street Bakery and savor the fresh, roasted coffee at Java’s at the Market. There will be fun for the entire family, including visits with Santa, free horse-drawn sleigh rides and other kid-friendly activities each Sunday.

Rochester Tuba Christmas

Sunday, December 19 at 3 p.m.
Hochstein Music Hall
Tickets are available at Wegmans and go on sale December 1. Tickets will NOT be available at the door.
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New Year's Eve Family Celebration and Fireworks

December 31 at 7 p.m.
Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center & the ice rink at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Park
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The fireworks display scheduled for 10 p.m. has been cancelled.

 Ring in the New Year with some family-friendly fun and fireworks. Enjoy an indoor festival in the The Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center then step outside for a dazzling display of fireworks.

Family Indoor Fun, 7 p.m Free festivities with activities and entertainment for all ages including dance party hosted by DJ “Jimmy C,” an old-time photo booth, a giant bounce house, climbing wall, obstacle course and other inflatable structures. Also featured will be a magician, face painting, and caricaturists. Special appearances by Disney’s Frozen characters Elsa and Ana, and Rochester’s favorite superhero, Spider-Man. Free parking available in Sister Cities, Court Street, South Avenue and Washington Square Garages. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Fireworks, 10 p.m. Relocate just outside the Convention Center, overlooking the Main Street Bridge. From this vantage point, view the City’s spectacular fireworks finale — the largest New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Greater Rochester.

Holidays at the R-Centers

Throughout the season0
City R-Centers

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R-Centers will host a variety of actives such as visits from Santa and holiday parties. Call 311 to be connected to a center or visit  

Edgerton Model Railroad Room

Throughout the Season
Edgerton R-Center, 41 Backus St.

All the details 

This hidden treasure will be open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during select days during the 2014 holiday season. For schedule information, call 428-6769 visit