Guide To Summer Cultural Events In Rochester

Women in colorful dresses.

As a multiracial family, it’s important to us that our children spend time with people who come from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. I want my kids to be able to see themselves (and us) in a global context. Fortunately, that’s an easy goal to accomplish in Rochester. Our city and the surrounding areas offer so many cultural events for everyone to experience. We are fortunate to be living in a city so rich in cultural diversity. Even more importantly, we are lucky to live in a community where people are eager to share their different cultures with our society at large.

The summer is an excellent time to explore our city’s heterogeneity. The simplest place to start is a cultural festival. There are few things Rochesterians love more than hosting and attending festivals. And with so many to choose from, we have good reason! After a long dreary winter, the summer brings much-needed sunshine and warmth. It’s the perfect time to get outside; maybe under a tent, trying a new food, listening to a new type of music, while watching a new kind of dancing by people in a new kind of clothing. It’s a relaxed and accessible way to introduce a new culture to your family.

Summer Cultural Events In Rochester

“Jöhehgöh” They Sustain Us Indigenous Food Event

June 22 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Ganondagan State Historic Site
7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road)
Victor, NY 14564
+ Google Map

Join us at Ganondagan for “Jöhehgöh” They Sustain Us – Indigenous Food Event with Braiding Sweetgrass author, Robin Kimmerer (Potawatomi), chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Potawatomi), and Haudenosaunee culture bearers for demonstrations, hands-on activities, speaking, and a

Find out more »

Celtic Faire at Genesee Country Village & Museum

June 22 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Genesee Country Village & Museum
1410 Flint Hill Road
Mumford, New York 14511
+ Google Map

Join us at GCV&M for an annual favorite – the Celtic Faire! From the Scottish Highlands, Emerald Isles, and rugged Welsh coastline to the Genesee Valley, Celtic traditions and roots

Find out more »

Celtic Faire at Genesee Country Village & Museum

June 23 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Genesee Country Village & Museum
1410 Flint Hill Road
Mumford, New York 14511
+ Google Map

Join us at GCV&M for an annual favorite – the Celtic Faire! From the Scottish Highlands, Emerald Isles, and rugged Welsh coastline to the Genesee Valley, Celtic traditions and roots

Find out more »

Geva Theatre Indigenous Theatre Symposium

June 27 - June 28

Geva Theatre, in association with Friends of Ganondagan and NTID and in affiliation with Native Voices presents Embracing the Indian, Centering Indigenous Voices, a free two-day event…June 27 – The

Find out more »

Black Culture Festival

July 27 - July 28

12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Parcel 5, 285 East Main Street, Rochester. The Black Culture Festival is presents and acknowledges the wide-ranging beauty and accomplishments of black individuals in

Find out more »

Ganondagan’s Annual Indigenous Music & Arts Festival

July 27 - July 28
Ganondagan State Historic Site
7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road)
Victor, NY 14564
+ Google Map

Ganondagan’s annual Indigenous Music & Arts festival showcases Haudenosaunee and Indigenous cultures through dance, music, storytelling, traditional craft demonstrations, an Indigenous Arts Market, children’s activities, Indigenous food, and more. This

Find out more »

Puerto Rican Festival

August 1 - August 3
Parcel 5
285 E Main St
Rochester, NY 14604
+ Google Map

Rochester Puerto Rican Festival is at Parcel 5 on Main Street in Downtown Rochester. As the longest-standing ethnic festival in Monroe County, this will be three exhilarating days featuring live

Find out more »

FGAS German Fest

August 9 - August 10
Spencerport Fireman’s Field
81 N. Union St.
Rochester, NY
+ Google Map

75 South Union Street, Spencerport Friday, August 9th, 5:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday, August 10th, 2:00 p.m. – 11 p.m. Admission: $6 12 and under FREE with paid adult

Find out more »

Rochester Ukrainian Festival

August 15 - August 18

St. Josaphat 940 Ridge Road East Rochester, NY 14621 Thursday, 6:00 p.m. until 10:45 p.m. Friday, 6:00 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. Saturday, 1:00 p.m. until 11:45 p.m. Sunday, 1:00 p.m.

Find out more »

Pan Afrikan Festival

August 24 @ 11:00 am - 8:00 pm
Highland Bowl Park
1137 South Ave
Rochester, NY
+ Google Map

Our Pan Afrikan Festival (formerly Afrikan American Festival) is one of the major events that is held annually here in Rochester, NY. The purpose is to celebrate the heritage and

Find out more »

Sharing in Different Cultures

These new experiences you are sharing with your children may be new for you as the parent, as well. Some of you may be wondering, “Is it okay for us to celebrate a holiday or culture that does not belong to us? What about cultural appropriation?” Rest assured, if there is an open and public celebration then you are invited to participate.

My only word of caution would be to check who is hosting the event. Is it just some gimmicky theme night at a restaurant? Skip it. Is it an event hosted by a reputable cultural organization and sponsored by businesses who are not making a profit from their connection to the event? It’s likely legitimate so go and have a great time! When we learn about other cultures, we broaden our perspective of the world and our place in it. We encourage our children to broaden their own thinking and we can initiate conversations about respect and equity.

*Pro tip: Colleges often have different ethnic and religious Student Associations which coordinate public events for their holidays. Rochester is flush with colleges so that could be an easy place to start.

Previous articleAm I Really a Mom?
Next articleNew Playgrounds In Rochester
Devin P.B.
Devin P.B. lives in Webster with her husband, 4 kids, and 2 mutts. She has degrees in Applied Linguistics and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She is currently working full-time at URMC as a corporate trainer. When not working, she's blasting music in her minivan as she shuttles her kids to field hockey, youth group, theatre camp, martial arts, baseball, swim lessons, etc. In her ridiculously limited free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and watching Asian dramas. As a family, they enjoy trying out all of the different playgrounds, hiking trails, and festivals that Rochester has to offer.