Each year, the city of Rochester sponsors free, family-friendly holiday events for all to enjoy. The 2014 events have been listed below, according to the city’s web site.
City Hall Atrium Tree Lighting Ceremony, 30 Church St., Friday, Dec. 5, 11 a.m.
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. Donations of books or teddy bears in original packaging for the Books and Bears collaboration with the Rochester Police Dept. and the City are welcome.
Light Up the Holidays Downtown, Saturday, Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m., Liberty Pole Plaza, FREE
Listen to the holiday sounds of Vocal Point and the Yellow Jackets, the University of Rochester’s a capella groups! 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 Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, where we’ll watch fireworks, ice skate, and enjoy the holidays downtown!
Liberty Pole Lighting at Liberty Pole Plaza, 4:30 p.m. Join Vocal Point, the YellowJackets and 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 and Mrs. Claus 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, Mrs. Claus, 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 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 a 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.
Lighting of the Menorah at City Hall, Tuesday, Dec. 16, City Hall Atrium, 30 Church St., FREE
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.
Holidays at the Market, Sundays, Nov. 30; Dec. 7 and 14, Rochester Public Market, 280 N. Union St.
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, Saturday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m., Hochstein Music Hall, Tickets are $3 and available at Wegmans
New Year’s Eve Family Celebration and Fireworks, Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 7 p.m., Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center & the ice rink at Martin Luther King Jr., Park FREE
Ring in the New Year with some family-friendly fun and fireworks. Enjoy an indoor festival in the The Joseph E. 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-Ma 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 season:
City R-Centers, FREE
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 www.cityofrochester.gov/rcentersEdgerton
Edgerton Model Railroad Room, throughout the season, Edgerton R-Center, 41 Backus St.
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 www.cityofrochester.gov/edgertontrain.
For additional information on the events, visit http://www.cityofrochester.gov/downtownholidays/ .