Festivals & Special Events

Fall Festival & Agricultural Fair @ The Genesee Country Village & Museum, October 6 & 7. Note: Corn Maze and activities open every weekend in October.

by Sue Cannon

For Halloween-themed events, see “Halloween Happenings” – listed below, after Festivals.

•A Family Health & Fitness Fair is planned on October 4 at the Dome Arena, 2695 E. Henrietta Rd.  The event will include health care exhibits, free health screenings and seminars.  Visit www.rochesterhealthfair.com.

•The Food Truck Rodeo rolls into the Rochester Public Market at 280 N. Union Street, on October 4.  Over twenty popular Food Truck Vendors will be featured – Le Petit Poutine, The Sammich Guy, Cheese & Confused, Wraps on Wheels, Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza and more – along with home brew demonstrations and plenty of live music.  Call (585) 428-6907.

•On October 5, 6 & 7, the Fairport Junction Festival Site on Liftbridge Lane East will host the Fairport Oktoberfest.  There will be German cuisine, wine and beer, and plenty of music – rock ‘n roll, traditional German bands, and more.  The lineup includes Paul Kreuger, the FFD Oktoberfest Band, Schuhplatter Verein Heidengold and Big Eyed Phish on Friday; Midnight, Alphorn Society of WNY, the Genesee Valley Alpine Band, and Jumbo Shrimp on Saturday; and a German Language Church Service, music by the Perinton Concert Band, and the PEP Band Playoff with RIT vs. U of R on Sunday.  Visit www.fairportpartnership.org.

The City of Rochester’s River Romance Weekend, October 5-7 @ Various Locations – Visit www.cityofrochester.gov/riverromance for more details

•Running October 5 thru 7 is River Romance, Rochester’s annual celebration of the Genesee River.  Events planned include multiple tours (of the Heritage Trail, the Genesee Lighthouse, Charlotte Cemetery, Corn Hill, Downtown Rochester, the Aqueduct, Rock Park, High Falls, Lower Falls, Mt. Hope Cemetery, the Gorge and more); Fishing Competitions, “Buskers on the Bridge” – featuring local talent on the Pont de Rennes Bridge, a “Renew Your Vows” event on the banks of the Genesee, the Head of the Genesee Regatta, River Boat Rides on the Mary Jemison, the Sam Patch & Harbor Town Belle, Civil War Events, a Twilight River Romance Dinner Cruise, guided Bike Rides, “Autumn at the Lake” at Ontario Beach Park – complete with hayrides, clowns, refreshments & more…and a host of other events!  Visit www.cityofrochester.gov/riverromance.

•The 15th annual Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour is scheduled for the weekend of October 5 thru 8.  For this event, you can travel scenic country roads ablaze in autumn glory, moving from market to market, and enjoying the fall harvest.  For details, visit www.appletastingtour.com; or call (800) 527-6510.

•The Seneca Park Zoo, at 2222 St. Paul St., will host Genesee Trail Day on October 6.  Stations will be set up where visitors can learn about the animals for which the eight clans of the Seneca Nation are named.  Members of the Ganondagon Historical Site will be on hand with displays and to answer questions.  Call (585) 336-7200.

•On October 6, Rochester Plaza Hotel at 70 State Street hosts the 11th Annual ARTrageous Affair.  A silent auction highlights this benefit for the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester.  Call (585) 473-8177.

•The public is invited to a fundraiser entitled Oscar Goes:  A Wheelchair-Accessible Van Benefit on October 6 at the Dyer Arts Center of NTID at RIT.  The evening includes a silent auction, raffle, music by Margaret Explosion, activities for kids, light refreshments and more.  It benefits four-year-old Oscar Merulla-Bonn of Brighton who lives with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  Call (585) 224-3587.

Custom BrewCrafter’s “Fall Festival of Ales” @ Honeoye Falls Firemen’s Field, October 6

•The Fall Festival of Ales is planned for October 6, hosted by Custom BrewCrafters.  The event will feature samplings of over 40 unique beers as well as live music by Blue Jimmy, food vendors, and the Mercy Flight Benefit Chili Cookoff.  The festival will be held at Honeoye Falls Firemen’s Field on Monroe St. in Honeoye Falls NY.  Call (585) 624-4386.

•Twenty artists in the Naples area will participate in the Naples Open Studio Trail on October 6 & 7.  They will open their studios to visitors, and offer demonstrations and sales of their works.  Visit www.naplesopenstudio.com.

•A Fall Foliage Festival on the Cohocton Village Green will feature arts and crafts, antiques, a flea market, entertainment, a petting zoo, historical exhibits, a parade and fireworks on October 6 & 7.  Visit www.fallfoliagefestival.com.

•At the Genesee Country Village in Mumford, a Fall Festival and Agricultural Society Fair is planned on October 6 & 7.  This annual celebration will bring you back to an earlier time when the harvest brought judged competitions of everything from poultry to pies.  There will be livestock exhibits, fair foods and demonstrations of vintage farm machinery.  Your visit to the museum is worth it for a stop at the Farmer’s Market alone; but there’s more – a magic sow, the tent of wonders, carnival games and the Mayor’s Cup Base Ball Championship – played by 1865 rules.  This weekend also marks the opening of the Genesee Country Village Corn Maze which runs October 6 thru 28 on weekends only.  GCVM is located at 1410 Flint Hill Rd. in Mumford NY.  Call (585) 538-6822.

Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show @ Letchworth State Park (Highbanks Recreation Area), October 6-8.

•The Letchworth Arts & Crafts Show on October 6 thru 8 will feature the work of over 300 artisans from around the country, plus many food vendors, live entertainment and family activities in the Highbanks Recreation Area of Letchworth State Park.  This is one of the regions largest and most popular fall events.  A shuttle bus is available within the park, and from the former Champion Factory on Rt. 39 in Perry NY.  Call (585) 237-3517.

Hispanic/Latino Heritage Family Day, October 7 at the Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Avenue, will feature hands-on art activities, music and dance demonstrations, storytelling and a variety of cultural displays.  Call  (585) 276-8900.

•A chance to view the Fall Foliage by Trolley and Train is offered by the New York Museum of Transportation/Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, 6393 East River Road in Rush NY on October 7, 14, 21 & 28 and November 4.  Enjoy the beauty of autumn in Western New York from the windows of an authentic 80-year-old electric trolley car.  A diesel locomotive with two cabooses will meet the trolley for continuation to the museum.  No reservations are required.  Call (585) 533-1113.

•A Wildlife Festival is planned on October 8 at the RMSC Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road in Naples NY.  The education and conservation outreach program will include presentations on raptures and other wildlife.  Call (585) 374-6160.

•Head over to the Strong National Museum of Play, One Manhattan Square, on October 8 for an afternoon of Video Game Fun For Everyone.  Meet game creators, check out new inventions, play the latest digitally-enabled playground game – “Johann Sebastian Joust,” and take a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the International Center for the History of Video Games Lab at the museum.  Call (585) 263-2700.

•The 20th Annual Adventures in Education Event at Rochester School for the Deaf, 1545 St. Paul Street, is planned on October 11.  Called “Around the World in 80 Ways,” the evening includes a chance to meet Julie and Colin Angus – first woman to row across the Atlantic and the first man to circumnavigate the earth on human power – as well as 2012 Olympic Rowing Gold Medalist, Meghan Musnicki of Naples.  There will be wine, hors d’oeuvres, dessert and more.  Call (585) 544-1240.

Meliora Weekend at the University of Rochester is planned for October 11 thru 14.  In addition to theatrical, dance, art and musical events, sporting contests and more; there will be presentations by Jim Lehrer, Harry Carson, Barbara Walters and Craig Ferguson. Visit www.rochester.edu/melioraweekend for details.

•Genesee County Historians will present their 2012 Ghost Walk on October 12 & 19 with tickets available at the Engine House, 3 West Main Street in Batavia NY.  For reservations, call (585) 344-2550.

•The Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society and Finger Lakes Railway will sponsor Fall Foliage Train Excursions on the Auburn Road Branch on October 13.  Running between Shortsville & Phelps NY, the track will be traveled by two diesel locomotives and four passenger coaches, leaving from 8 E. High Street in Shortsville.  Call (585) 869-1498.

•The Genesee Valley Hunt Races are scheduled for October 13 on Nations Road, off Rt. 39 in Geneseo NY.  The event includes steeplechase, terrier and pony races; family activities like horse-drawn hayrides, pony rides, and stick horse races; along with live music, boutiques and tailgate picnic competitions.  Call (585) 243-3949.

•Take a self-guided tour of the historic barns located in West Bloomfield on October 13.  Then, stop by the Ionia Fire Department at 8338 County Rd. 14 in Ionia where you’ll see demonstrations and enjoy hands-on activities for the whole family that illustrate the history of farming life.  For information on the Agricultural Fair & Barn Tour, call (585) 394-4975.

•The Jewish Community Center at 1200 Edgewood Avenue hosts a Fall Family Fun Fest on October 14.  There will be arts and crafts, face painting, pony rides, roller-skating, a bounce house and obstacle course, a family swim, yoga, Zumba, a magic show and more.  Call (585) 461-2000.

•On October 14, Bristol Mountain Winter Resort at 5662 Rt. 64 in Canandaigua hosts the Bristol Mountain Fall Festival.  The event includes music, arts and crafts, bounce house, strolling magician, fall foliage sky rides, and food and beverage vendors.  Call (585) 374-6000.



by Sue Cannon

    It’s started – ghouls and pumpkins are popping up everywhere!  There are hayrides and frighthouses guaranteed to scare even the most stoic of visitors; and special events for kids to enjoy.  Try a few of these…


Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester, October 28 – Go to www.hauntedhayridesofrochester.com for more information.

Thru October 31:

Nightmare Manor of Greater Rochester offers a full quarter mile of intense chills and thrills and is Western New York’s largest indoor Haunted House, located in Southtown Plaza, 3333 W. Henrietta Road.  Visit “The Sinister Sewers,” “The Black Woods,” “Dr. Limons Master Bedroom,” the “All New Themed Scare Chair,” and the “New Extended Clown & Boiler Rooms.”  Go to www.nightmaremanor.com for details.

•At 3329 Eddy Road in Williamson NY, you’ll find an annual favorite – the Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester.  This attraction features a 35-minute hay wagon through the woods of the De Fisher Fruit Farm, with over 40 actors scattered about who will thrill and frighten you along the way.  There’s also a Spinning Tunnel, a 3D Maze, a Screamatorium, the Hellevator, a chance to experience being Buried Alive and the Mummy Theatre. Activities scheduled during the event include special Family Fun Nights when even the little ones can enjoy a ride; and Private Wagon Rides are available as well as Group Wagons and a special VIP Wagons.  Visit www.hauntedhayridesofrochester.com.


October 6:

•The Kendall Scarecrow Festival is held in Kendall Community Park.  There will be a Farmer’s Market, a Bike Run, Food Vendors, a themed Scarecrow Contest with scarecrow’s dressed as cartoons and super heroes, Pumpkin Decorating, Family Performances, Magicians, a Craft Table, a Seed Spitting Contest, Hayrides, plenty of Food and Music and more.  Call (585) 659-8289.


October 11:

• The Colonial Belle, which is docked at 400 Packet’s Landing in Fairport, NY, hosts a Murder Mystery Dinner Cruise.  Call (585) 223-8470 for details and to reserve a seat.


October 13:

•From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., scarecrows will decorate Main Street in Fairport which will also come alive with music, entertainment, food and children’s activities during the Fairport Scarecrow Festival.  Visit www.fairportmerchants.com for details.


October 13 thru 28:

•Live performers and costumed characters entertain as kids visit 15 trick-or-treat stations throughout Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul Street, during the annual ZooBoo events, scheduled this year for October 13 & 14, 20 & 21, and 27& 28.  You can even watch the Zoo residents enjoy their own treats! Call (585) 336-7212.


October 14 & 21:

•Kids can Make a Scarecrow at the RMSC Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road in Naples.  Bring old clothes to dress your scarecrow and a pillowcase to make a head…they’ll provide the stuffing and instructions.  A pumpkin is included!  Call (585) 374-6160.

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