As the weather warms and brightens, the City of Rochester begins preparations for an upcoming season of celebratory parades.
“Every single parade held in Rochester is a moment for reflection, recognition and celebration,” said Mayor Malik D. Evans. “I deeply appreciate the coordination and collaboration of the many important partners who come together to make these events possible.”
Because parades are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the City provides a number of services including street closures and barriers, police support, trash receptacles, and special event coordination free of charge for event organizers.
Rochester’s first 2023 parade was the St. Patrick’s Day event on Saturday, March 11. Next up is the Lilac Festival parade on Saturday, May 13, when the region celebrates the full blooming of Spring.
Soon thereafter, summer kicks off with the Memorial Day Parade, slated for Monday, May 29. One of Rochester’s longest-standing parades and meaningful celebrations, the events currently held for Memorial Day have occurred nearly every year since the early 1900s.
The City has been so committed to this reverential moment in time that the City Charter itself, since its adoption in 1907, has expressly authorized funding in the City budget to observe Memorial Day—making it the only special event with a dedicated funding stream. The Charter currently authorizes the City to budget up to $8,500 for the Memorial Day celebration at Blue Cross Arena. In recent years, the City actually increased its annual financial commitment to the celebration to $10,000.
“Memorial Day is an important moment for the country, and recognizes those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said Mayor Evans. “The ceremony deserves its unique position as the only Rochester event that receives this kind of support from the City.”
Once our region marks the calendar shift to summer, parade season truly heats up. The season’s currently planned parades include:
Juneteenth Parade, Saturday, June 17
Pride Fest Parade, Saturday, July 15
Puerto Rican Parade, Saturday, August 5
Carifest Parade, Saturday, August 12
Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 4
In addition, several neighborhood events are planning to hold smaller parade-like proceedings.
The majority of Rochester’s parades occur Downtown. Street closures are required to ensure the safety of parade participants and attendees, and the City positions barriers and large vehicles to ensure that traffic is prevented from entering routes.
Conducting these large-scale events in the city center minimizes their impact on residential areas, facilitates easy ingress/egress and parking, and helps moderate the cost of City services required to ensure participant safety.
For more information about parades held in the City of Rochester, visit www.CityOfRochester.gov/parades.