Genesee River Romance

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Rediscover the River. October 6 - 8, 2017

The Genesee River is the lifeblood of the Greater Rochester Region. From the abundant farms of the Genesee Valley to the industrial heritage of the City, the Genesee River has defined who we are and how our community developed. The river serves as a conduit and hunting grounds for Native American peoples and later as a river to freedom for escaping slaves. The falls of the Genesee River powered countless industries and the construction of the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes Port connected Rochester to the world. Unfortunately, for many years the River that sparked Rochester’s development was ignored and abused by its citizens.  Starting in the 1980’s, concerned residents and local governments joined forces to rediscover and restore this river of life and wealth. This year the City of Rochester is proud to once again join with our numerous community partners to celebrate the Genesee and its lasting legacy in our region.

River Romance 2017 Schedule: 

Friday, October 6 

6 a.m. to 7 p.m. : 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- right in the city.

  9 a.m-1 p.m.: MCC Downtown Campus Tour. Enjoy a guided tour of the new MCC Downtown Campus, located in the historic High Falls District. Tours will depart from the Downtown Campus lobby welcome desk located at the entrance on Morrie Silver Way. Tours start at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Space is limited and advanced registration is required for this event. Please call: 428-6755 by October 5th to register.   Parking information: http://www.monroecc.edu/about-mcc/locations-maps/downtown-campus/.

10 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Guided Bike Ride from Genesee Valley Park to the Port of Rochester. Meet at the Roundhouse at Genesee Valley Park and travel along the Genesee Riverway Trail through Downtown Rochester and beyond. This is a 26-mile ride on flat terrain, city roads and paved trail. Casual pace so multiple skill levels are welcome. Helmets required. Free.   

1- 2 p.m. Guided Tours of the Suffrage Exhibit at Central Library. Join Deputy City Historian Michelle Finn for a guided tour of "Because of Women Like Her...Winning the Vote in New York State," a major exhibit honoring the centennial of woman suffrage in New York State. Meet at the exhibit for a group tour beginning at 1 pm. Harold Hacker Hall, 1st floor, Rundel Memorial Library Building, 115 South Avenue.  Free and open to the public.

1 - 5 p.m.: 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, view the expanded display of Ontario Beach Park from the 1870s to 1920s, and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden. The gift shop will also be open. Admission $5.00 per person, 17 and under are FREE. For further information call 585-621-6179 or visit www.geneseelighthouse.org 

4  - 8 p.m.: 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.   

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

7:30-8:30 p.m.: 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 at the Platt Street entrance to the bridge no later than 7:20 p.m. No registration required.  Enjoy a free reception following the event.

Saturday, October 7

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

  9- 11 a.m.: River Romance Glide and Ride Adventure. Put your bike on the Sam Patch boat at Schoen Place and enjoy a 2.5 hour cruise that travels through 2 locks on the Erie Canal, and the site in Genesee Valley Park where the River crosses the Erie Canal.  The Sam Patch will dock at Corn Hill Landing where passengers are welcome to enjoy the myriad of River Romance activities taking place throughout the City of Rochester.  The bike ride back to Schoen Place is approximately 10 miles on flat terrain, along the Genesee River Trail and Erie Canal Trail. Tickets: $20/adults; $5/youth under 12). Registration required.  For more information visit: www.sampatch.org/events/. 

  9 a.m. - 3 p.m.:  Guided Tours of RG&E Hydroelectric Facility.  Learn about 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 gate operation, river intake/rackhouse,  and upper level of gate control house. Please note these are guided tours conducted by RG&E staff and are subject to cancellation. Tours will start at the Middle Falls dam located at the SE end of Lower Falls Park (access off of Driving Park, parking available at Maplewood Rose Garden). Contact Ivette Torres to learn more: Ivette_Torres@rge.com or (585) 724.8742.

 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.: The Underground Railroad In Western New York History Tour. Rochester is emblematic of the strong efforts for freedom that New York has represented throughout history.  Rochester was the home of Frederick Douglass and significant work done by other leaders in the Anti-Slavery Movement. Join the Lower Falls Foundation for an educational tour that goes beyond the symbolic nature of the advocates for fairness. Learn about the hard work and powerful stories of the people who defied laws and the cultural perceptions of those times to develop a system which was an integral part of the Underground Railroad to deliver fugitive individuals and families to freedom. Registration required.  Visit: lowerfallsfdn.org/event to learn more.

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.: Sturgeon Release Along the Genesee River. RG&E volunteers are teaming up with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for a Sturgeon release event at Seth Green. The release is part of the NYSDEC’s restoration program that returns native fish back to the Genesee River and promotes a healthier Genesee River watershed. You are welcomed to watch RG&E volunteers release 30 hatchery reared, fingerling lake sturgeon into the Genesee and will paint “Attention Anglers” sturgeon stencil signs at Seth Green Park. Contact Ivette Torres to learn more: Ivette_Torres@rge.com or (585) 724.8742. 

10 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Guided Bike Ride from Genesee Valley Park to the Port of Rochester. Meet at the Roundhouse at Genesee Valley Park and travel along the Genesee Riverway Trail through Downtown Rochester and beyond. This is a 26-mile ride on flat terrain, city roads and paved trail. Casual pace so multiple skill levels are welcome. Helmets required. Free.  

 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.: 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. Tour takers will also 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 starts around 1 p.m.

12- 5 p.m.: Greentopia’s Ecodistrict Kick Off. Celebrate sustainability, the High Falls area, and New York's first EcoDistrict! Activities will include volunteer gardening projects to beautify the area, an eco-fair of interactive and educational booths, an electronics recycling drop-off, an electric vehicle to test drive, and a collaborative art chalk mural on the Pont de Rennes bridge. Come join an afternoon of fun as Greentopia launches the City’s first EcoDistrict! Meet at the Pont de Rennes Bridge in High Falls District. Free and open to the public.

1- 2 p.m.: Guided Tours of the Suffrage Exhibit at Central Library. Join Deputy City Historian Michelle Finn for a guided tour of "Because of Women Like Her...Winning the Vote in New York State," a major exhibit honoring the centennial of woman suffrage in New York State. Meet at the exhibit for a group tour beginning at 1 pm. Harold Hacker Hall, 1st floor, Rundel Memorial Library Building, 115 South Avenue.  Free and open to the public.

5 - 7 p.m.: Eastman School of Music Performance. Enjoy live music, light refreshments and beverages along the Genesee River at Brooks Landing. Event sponsored by Staybrige Suites. Free and open to the public.

6- 8 p.m.: Live Music Sunset Cruises on the Sam Patch. Enjoy a scenic cruise on the fabled Erie Canal while sipping your favorite beverage.  Sunset cruise features live music provided by local performers Greg Kremer & Mike Boucher.  Cruise leaves from Corn Hill Landing.  Tickets: $13/adult.  For more information visit: www.sampatch.org/events/. 

Other events along the Genesee River 

   8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.: 29th Annual Head of the Genesee Regatta.
The Regatta will take place at the Genesee Waterways Center,149 Elmwood Avenue (behind the Genesee Valley Park Sports Complex).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.

  9 a.m. - 2 p.m.: Guided Paddle Along the Genesee from Seth Green to Ontario Beach Park.  Join naturalists from the Seneca Park Zoo Society and the City of Rochester for an enjoyable and educational row along the Genesee River. Paddle trip is $20.00 per adult; $10.00 for kids under 18. Canoes and Kayaks available through the Genesee Waterways Center. Maximum two adults per canoe. All children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  Pre-registration required. Call 428-8820 to register. Meet in the Port of Rochester parking lot off of Corrigan Street. 

  10 a.m. - 5 p.m.: 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.   

12 noon - 4 p.m.: Sam Patch Cruises along the Genesee. Cruises leave from Corn Hill Landing every hour, on the hour with the last tour leaving at 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person (under 3 years old free).  Food and drink are available for purchase. All purchases are cash only.  For details and reservations please visit www.sampatch.org

 1 - 3 p.m.: Guided Bike Ride from the High Falls District and Beyond. Meet at the Pont de Rennes Bridge (at Platt Street) 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 12-mile ride on flat terrain, city roads and paved trail. Helmets required.  Free.

1 - 5 p.m.: 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, view the expanded display of Ontario Beach Park from the 1870s to 1920s, and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden. The gift shop will also be open. Admission $5.00 per person, 17 and under are FREE. For further information call 585-621-6179 or visit www.geneseelighthouse.org. 

5:30- 10 p.m.: Genesee River Bash. Genesee RiverWatch kicks off River Romance weekend with a celebration of the Genesee River. Enjoy interactive exhibits, networking, food, a silent auction, the annual Thorndike Environmental Leadership Awards and live music in the Port of Rochester Terminal Building. Event details and tickets: www.geneseeriverwatch.org.

5 - 7 p.m.: Family Skate at Genesee Valley Ice Rink. 131 Elmwood Ave. Skate rental, $3. For more information, call 585-428-7888.

7 - 9 p.m.: Haunted Gorge Tours in Lower Falls Park.  This family-friendly descent into the Lower Gorge features creatures and spirits sure to scare aboard a tractor-drawn wagon. Pre-registration required. Tickets: $5 for those 12 and over; $2 for children under 12. Tickets are available at City Recreation Administration Office, 400 Dewey Avenue or at the Maplewood YMCA, 25 Driving Park Avenue. Park in Maplewood YMCA lot or in the Maplewood Rose Garden parking lot on Driving Park Avenue. Sponsored by the Maplewood Neighborhood Association; Maplewood YMCA and the Edgerton Community Center.

Sunday, October 8

 Events in Charlotte, Ontario Beach Park and Turning Point Park

  11 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Rediscover the Port. Ontario Beach Park and Port of Rochester, Lake Avenue at Beach Avenue in and around the Port Terminal.  Enjoy the fall views of the new marina and bring the whole family to a day of fun featuring hayrides, free pumpkin decorating, Rec on the Move mobile recreation vehicles, historical exhibits, and children’s activities. New this year: Tours of the new marina and entertainment and wine and craft brew tasting in the Terminal Building. Charlotte history books and merchandise, postcards, hats, and T-shirts will be available for purchase. Stay for lunch and check out the Port’s numerous eateries.  Sponsored by the Ontario Beach Park Program Committee and the Charlotte Community Association.

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Guided Walk in Turning Point Park.  Meet tour guide, Mike Parker, in the parking lot at the end of Boxart Street. Enjoy a guided walk that will highlight the wooded oak forest called Bullock’s Woods, the award-winning boardwalk along the cattail-lined shores of the Genesee, and the industrial history and footprint still present in Turning Point Park. This hike will feature some hills and moderate grade changes; not recommended for young children. This walking tour is free.

12- 1 p.m.: Walk and Talk in Seneca Park.  A Historical  Stroll! The East Ridge Association invites you to join us for an informal stroll and storytelling in Seneca Park.

  12-4 p.m.: Exploration of Historic Rapids Cemetery. Visit the two hundred year-old pioneer Rapids Cemetery near the southwest riverfront at 90 Congress Avenue just south of Brooks Avenue. See the restoration work in progress and visit the gravesites of Veterans from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish American War and early settlement residents. Optional: Pitch in with hands-on landscape activities.

1 - 2 p.m.: 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 Development Corporation.  Meet on Lake Avenue at River Street. Additional parking is available at the former Ira Jacobson Post Home on St. John’s Park. Free event.

1 - 3 p.m.: 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. Helmets required.  Meet at Seneca Park Zoo parking lot.

1 - 5 p.m.: 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, view the expanded display of Ontario Beach Park from the 1870s to 1920s, and take a walk through the War of 1812 International Peace Garden. The gift shop will also be open. Admission $5.00 per person, 17 and under are FREE. For further information call 585-621-6179 or visit www.geneseelighthouse.org. 

2-3 p.m.: Tour of Corn Hill Neighborhood and History. Join Corn Hill Historian Jim DeVinney as he shares colorful stories about sisters who talked to the dead, the man who put Mercury into our skyline, Jazz at the Pythodd Club and much more! Tour begins at the Water Spirits sculpture where South Plymouth Avenue joins Exchange Street. Bring water and wear good shoes.

2 - 2:30 p.m.: 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 the 2009 restoration. Event sponsored by the Charlotte High Archivists and the Class of 1945. Free. Commemorative mural poster and note cards will be available for purchase.

3 - 3:30 p.m.: 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 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.: 29th Annual Head of the Genesee Regatta. Sunday features high school and master rowers as well as a rowing clinic and a mini-food truck rodeo in Genesee Valley Park near the Roundhouse pavilion on Moore Road. Coaches from the Genesee Waterways Center will have ergs 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.

 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.: High Falls Interpretive Center and Museum. Located in the 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.  

 1 - 4 p.m.: Family Skate at Genesee Valley Ice Rink. 131 Elmwood Avenue. Skate rental, $3. For more information, call 585-428-7888. 

 

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).