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Roc Holiday Village returns to MLK Park

 Brass musicians regale visitors at Roc Holiday Village on Dec. 23, 2018.
Brass musicians regale visitors at Roc Holiday Village on Dec. 23, 2018.

The annual Roc Holiday Village returns Dec. 3 through 19 for its third year, following last year’s pandemic-induced hiatus.

The holiday festival, hosted by the city of Rochester and sponsored by Five Star Bank, once again turns Martin Luther King Jr. Park into a veritable winter wonderland, with free ice skating (limited skate rentals available) and various ice rink activities, food trucks and pop-up restaurants, live music, and plenty of shopping featuring local vendors.

Roc Holiday Village opens at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, and the festivities kick into high gear at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the lighting of the Liberty Pole — a Rochester holiday hallmark — and subsequent family parade to the Christmas tree lighting at the Holiday Village.

As always, there are additional family-friendly activities planned with the little ones in mind — from a nativity scene accompanied by a petting zoo with sheep, goats, and alpacas, to craft-making inside the heated Gingerbread House.

And no Christmas experience is complete without a visit with Santa Claus, who will be present on Saturday, Dec. 4; Wednesdays, Dec. 8 and 15; and Sunday, Dec. 19.

Individual holidays will be also spotlighted at Roc Holiday Village on the following days:

  • Sunday, Dec. 5 — Hanukkah
  • Sunday, Dec. 12 — Kwanzaa
  • Friday, Dec. 17 — Three Kings
  • Sunday, Dec. 19 — Christmas

For more details, including dates and times for specific events, go to

Arts writer Daniel J. Kushner began writing for CITY in 2015 as a contributing writer before joining the staff full-time in 2018.