Visit Rochester and Mayor Lovely Warren are starting an initiative called Welcome Home Roc. The goal is to leverage events like the city's many festivals to convince people with connections to the area to visit -- and hopefully move back.
Visit Rochester’s Rachel Pulvino said their plan is based mostly on targeted digital advertising.
“We’re really excited to push out this positive content of Welcome Home Rochester and engage not only people across the country through our advertising tactics but also Rochesterians right here who can be ambassadors and spread the word,” said Pulvino.
Pulvino said Visit Rochester will target people who live within a day’s drive as well as hot spots like Atlanta and Boston, where many Rochesterians have relocated to.
As part of this initiative, Puerto Rican Festival organizer Orlando Ortiz announced the festival will now start a day earlier, on Thursday afternoon. Admission for the new day will be free.
Ortiz said the change is in part to make the festival more affordable, especially for those Puerto Ricans who moved to Rochester after Hurricane Maria and recent earthquakes.
"We understand that sometimes there’s financial constraints to them celebrating their pride and culture and we want to remove some of those obstacles," said Ortiz.