Why not stay local this Memorial Day weekend? Greater Rochester Heritage Days premiers this year featuring an incredible assortment of activities for all ages. Heritage Days will take place from 10 am to 6 pm at the Rochester Municipal Park Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30. There is no charge for admission and there will be enough activity in the park to entertain your entire family for a full day.
One of the anchor events is an arts and crafts show with over 100 artists displaying their crafts for sale. According to art show organizer Sue Neal “this is a great place to do some gift shopping for those hard to buy for people on your shopping list. We’ll have artists showing everything from metal sculpture to children’s clothes. Prices for hand-made items start at less than a dollar so it is a very approachable show. Not only that, once your shopping is done you can spend the day with your family enjoying all of the other attractions at the festival”.
The other attractions at the festival are many and include a car show, a climbing wall, Civil War and World War Two re-enactors, pony rides, historical displays and demonstrations, old fashion children’s games, plow horses, antique fire trucks, antique tractors and much more. In addition, there will be live music throughout the weekend featuring folk musicians, dulcimer ensembles and even a piper. There will also be a wide variety of food to choose from so you can spend your entire day enjoying the festival. For those that arrive early there is even a pancake breakfast at the Community House! This is truly an event with something for everyone.
“Children and adults alike will be intrigued by the historical displays at this year’s event” according to Rod Wilson, local historian and organizer of the living history displays at the festival. “From blacksmiths to spinners we will have some amazing demonstrations. Children are fascinated to see how people lived in Rochester a hundred years ago or more. The best part though is that our demonstrators are there to share their passion providing great opportunities to not only view the demonstrations but also to speak with the individuals who are carrying on these traditions”. Local historical societies will also have collections of old photos of the region and information about their many projects to conserve our shared history.
“This festival is very important to the community” according to Steve Sage, Chairman of the festival and head of the Rochester Historical Commission. “It is a great chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful Municipal Park with your family, learn more about the fascinating history of our area, have lots of fun and, as an added bonus, the proceeds from the various concessions will benefit the many nonprofits that are making a difference in our community”. Some of the nonprofits that will benefit from this year’s event include Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, Rochester Community House, Rainbow Connection, Rochester-Avon Historical Society, Rochester Kiwanis Club and the Rochester Lions Club.
Heritage Days is truly a community project and is being organized this year by a coalition of groups including the City of Rochester, Rochester Historical Commission, Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, Rochester-Avon Historical Society, Oakland Township Historical Society, Rochester Community House, Rochester Lions Club and the Rochester Fire Department.