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Park Ave Festival Celebrating Its 40th Year

2016 Park Ave Festival Poster By Artist Carol Acquilano
2016 Park Ave Festival Poster By Artist Carol Acquilano

Organizers of this year's Park Ave Summer Art Festival in Rochester are getting ready for the 40th annual event, to be held the weekend of August 6th and 7th.

One larger-than-life personality being remembered by various officials and those involved with the festival is Jimmy Catalano, the longtime community organizer and florist who died in May after a battle with cancer. He was affectionately known as the “Mayor of Park Avenue.”

A co-president of the Park Avenue Revitalization Committee, Tanvi Asher says that speaking at the Park Ave festival news conference without Catalano felt strange.

“Usually, Jimmy gives this speech and I cannot even tell you how much this neighborhood misses him right now and I’m sure he wants all of us to enjoy this moment and so I want to invite all of you on behalf of Jimmy and his family to come have fun and basically celebrate what he was all about.”

The event attracts tens of thousands of people over its two-day run, and festival producer Jeff Springut says the Park Ave fest includes exhibits by hundreds of artists.

“The artists alone come from 23 states and Canada and that comprises a small portion of all the artists, so we feature local and regional artists and performers but it’s always nice to get fresh new energy from around the country.”

Rochester Police say they will have enough personnel on hand to ensure a safe event and will be focused on enforcing laws regarding drinking and noise, although they are not anticipating any major problems based on how things have gone the last few years.

People in the neighborhood will be putting up posters to make it clear where you can park, according to alternate side of the street parking regulations.

You can get more information about the event at

Artist Carol Acquilano created this year's poster for the Park Ave Festival

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.