Where to catch fireworks, food, fun, and music this Fourth of July 

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After a year of fireworks being set off in the city seemingly around the clock and by everyone except the city, an official Rochester Independence Day fireworks display is back — and it’s a two-fer.

Many suburban towns have also announced plans to celebrate the holiday with parades, fun runs, festivals, and fireworks, although there are some pandemic-related changes to the traditional events.

Here’s what’s going on around town this holiday weekend:


The city is staging two shows this year, with the first being a 15-minute drone and light extravaganza over High Falls followed by fireworks.

10 P.M.: Some 200 drones are scheduled to take flight over High Falls to music and in formation of, well, something. The city won’t say what. Too few things surprise anyone anymore, so enjoy the spectacle. The city advises tuning into WDKX 103.9 FM on your phone for a fuller experience. The best viewing areas are the Pont de Rennes bridge, the High Falls area, and High Falls Terrace Park.

10:15 P.M.: The classic fireworks display over downtown bridges returns. The best spots to view the fireworks are from the Main Street, Broad Street, and Court Street bridges, all of which will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 7 p.m. And no, you can’t park there, either.


The burb is getting an early jump on its festivities with a family-friendly road race first thing in the morning, followed by live music and fireworks at night. All of it unfolds at Meridian Centre Park off Winton Road.

There will be no food vendors this year, but you can bring your own. There will also be no coordinated activities for children, but, again, you can bring your own. Children and activities, that is.

8 A.M.: The fun kicks off with the Brighton July 4th 5K. Registration is $30 at yellowjacketracing.com.

8 P.M.: Fair-weather runners will have 12 hours to recover from their morning workout before The Skycoasters take the stage.

9:50 P.M.: Fireworks. Crack. Boom. Sizzle.


By the time the holiday fun rolls around, the village will be on the verge of a party hangover after celebrating the re-opening of the Main Street lift bridge on July 2. The bridge had been closed for construction for nearly two years, forcing the diversion of traffic around the village’s main arterial.

One change will be no “Party at Perinton Park.”

8 A.M.: The Firecracker 5K, a Fairport tradition since 1976, begins at Whitney and O’Connor roads and winds through the village to end at Perinton Park. Online registration is closed.

10 A.M.: The run is followed by a parade that is to proceed north on Potter Place from Hulbert Road, head west on West Church Street, and end at Perinton Park.


There are no changes planned for the town’s “Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration,” making it a true, old-fashioned celebration. It all happens at the Greece Town Hall Campus on Tofany Boulevard.

7:30 A.M.: The 5K Freedom Run takes off, and there is still time to register online and in person. Registration is $25 in advance online at runsignup.com, and $30 in person.

9 A.M.: Super Hero Sprint for children begins. Registration is $5 and can be done online or in person.

5:30 P.M.: Food trucks open their doors.

6 P.M.: Nik and the Nice Guys take the stage and children’s activities open.

8 P.M.: Gary Lewis and the Playboys take the stage.

9:45 P.M.: Fireworks begin.


Few things scream Fourth of July like rummage sales, hot dogs, and fireworks, and Henrietta has them all, with most of the action taking place at Veterans Memorial Park on Calkins Road.

9 A.M. – 2 P.M.: A craft and garage sale at Henrietta Senior Center, 515 Calkins Road, opens the day.

5 P.M.: Get your bounce on with bounce houses, lawn games, and more crafts at Veterans Memorial Park on Calkins Road.

7:45 P.M.: Brass Taxi takes the stage for an outdoor concert in the park.

9:45 P.M.: Fireworks.


You could read the Declaration of Independence almost anywhere, but you haven’t heard the Declaration of Independence until you’ve heard it read aloud on the steps of Irondequoit Town Hall. The town also keeps it American by using the Imperial system of measurement for its fun run.

8 A.M.: 2-Mile Fun Run begins at Christ the King Church on Kings Highway South. Registration is $20 and can be done online at runsignup.com or in person.

8:30 A.M.: Not much for running a couple miles? Try the 10K (that's 6.2 miles), also kicking off at Christ the King Church. Registration is $35 and can be done online or in person.

11 A.M.: The parade marches off from Irondequoit High School going south on Cooper Road, then heads east onto Titus Avenue, where it will end at Town Hall for a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

3 P.M.: Food trucks, music, and more fun begin on the west lawn of Town Hall.

9:30 P.M.: Fireworks over Town Hall.


Penfield is playing it safe this year with some pandemic-induced changes. There will be no food trucks or live music at Harris Whalen Park, but the town is bringing back what it calls its “Famous Fireworks” and introducing a special “Pandemic Heroes” tribute.

10 A.M.: Penfield’s Independence Day Parade begins at Penfield High School. It will proceed along Five Mile Line, head east on Route 441, and end at the Penfield Community Center. A giant banner of “Pandemic Heroes” — people and businesses who have made a difference during the pandemic — will be carried along the parade route. Sign up your Pandemic Hero here.

10 P.M.: The “Famous Fireworks” go off at Harris Whalen Park. The fireworks are such a show that the town recommends arriving at 9:30 p.m., and reminds people that there’s no need to crowd the park because the show can be seen from miles around.

David Andreatta is CITY's Editor. He can be reached at [email protected]
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