Plans Announced Today for New Annual Downtown Rochester Event!

City of Rochester Holiday Village Presented by Five Star Bank Opening December 1st Bringing Holiday Magic Back to the Heart of the City

Rochester, NY–Founding principals, Jenna Manetta-Knauf, Sean McCarthy and Kelli Marsh, announced plans today for an all-new annual downtown holiday event – City of Rochester Holiday Village presented by Five Star Bank. The event will showcase family-friendly activities including Santa’s Workshop, Ice skating, Breakfast with Santa, food, shopping and more for 11 days in December.

ROC Holiday Village presented by Five Star Bank will take place at 353 Court St. at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square, utilizing the ice skating rink and park.

ROC Holiday Village presented by Five Star Bank opens Saturday, December 1, and continues through Sunday, December 2; Friday, December 7; Saturday, December 8; Sunday, December 9; Friday, December 14; Saturday, December 15; Sunday, December 16; Friday, December 21; Saturday, December 22; wrapping up Sunday, December 23.

Village hours will be Fridays 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A bar will be open for extended hours.

Grand Opening is Friday, December 1

ROC Holiday Village presented by Five Star Bank opens December 1 at 4 p.m. in conjunction with the lighting of the Liberty Pole at Liberty Pole Way. Santa will make his way from the Liberty Pole to Holiday Village for a tree lighting ceremony, followed by ice skating show, music and more activities.

Weekend activities throughout December will include visits with Santa, ice skating, Breakfast with Santa, music and entertainment, crafting classes, food, shopping, and more. Many events will be free and visiting the general village will be free and open to the public.

The complete schedule of events will be announced in October and can be found on the ROC Holiday Village website.

“We want to bring the Rochester community together around the holidays,” said Jenna Manetta-Knauf, founding principal and owner of Bella Events Group. “Growing up in Rochester in the 80’s, I have fond memories of going downtown during the holidays. There was Magic Mountain, the Monorail, Kazoos, Breakfast with Santa and so much more. Now, with children of my own, I wanted to design an event that would create new memories for kids and families.”

Kelli Marsh, ROC Holiday Village founder said, “People will be able to shop at a wide variety of retailers on site, enjoy food from local vendors and music and entertainment featuring local acts.”

Sean McCarthy, ROC Holiday Village founder and owner of McCarthy’s Tents and Events added, “We will be constructing a tent that will be open to the public for events including local art showings, mini-maker fairs, and more, and will be available for private parties and events.”

“The City of Rochester is proud to support the ROC Holiday Village,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Not only does it give our families an opportunity to come Downtown to celebrate the holiday season, but it adds to the quality of life here in Rochester, helping us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities.”

“We are honored to serve as the presenting sponsor for Rochester’s inaugural Holiday Village,” said Marty Birmingham, Five Star Bank President and CEO. “As a locally headquartered community bank – our regional administrative center and a downtown branch are just across the street from ROC Holiday Village at 100 Chestnut Street – we are committed to the revitalization of downtown Rochester and believe in supporting the communities where we live and work. In addition to our financial products, which serve all facets of the community, we are pleased to be able to provide funding and volunteers to various initiatives supporting those in need. We know our employees, customers and the residents of Rochester will enjoy this new holiday tradition.”
ROC Holiday Village Highlights

Travel through Santa’s Workshop

Travel through “Santa’s Workshop” – a magical experience – while waiting to see Santa, Mrs. Claus and his elves.
Visit with Santa Claus and have your picture taken (free) every night of Holiday Village.
Go back in time and have your photo taken next to the original Midtown Monorail (not operational due to its age) and enjoy photos of the former Midtown Magic Mountain, and other City of Rochester holiday experiences from that era.
Charitable organizations may reserve space here to collect gifts for children.

Free Activities – Complete Schedule Will be Announced in October

  • Tree lighting December 1 at 5:30 p.m. – tree will be on top of the ice skating lodge
  • Free ice skating and skate rentals presented by Wegmans (Hours are opening day Saturday, December 1st 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Other activities on the ice
  • Santa’s Workshop and visit with Santa
  • Photo opportunities
  • Music, entertainment
  • Curling Demonstration
  • Skate with Characters
  • Light show
  • Elf workshop
  • Wreath-making
  • Crafts
  • Mini-makers fair

Holiday Shopping and Eating

  • Shop from more than 20 retail vendors
  • Enjoy a variety of food and drinks from local vendors

Bar and Restaurant

A pop-up bar and rotation of pop-up restaurants will be presented each weekend.

Breakfast with Santa

Breakfast with Santa starts on Sunday, December 2 at 10 a.m. and will be held every future Saturday and Sunday through December 23. Prices will be announced in October. Reservations will be able to be made online at ROCHolidayVillage.com.

Private Event Space

McCarthy’s Tents and Events tent will be open for various public and private events including Breakfast with Santa, crafting classes, music, mini makers fairs, private holiday parties, corporate events, weddings, and more. To reserve the space for a private event please call or email Jenna at (585) 943-0796 or jenna@rocholidayvillage.com.


Parking will be available on area streets, in the Washington Square Garage, the Central Parking System Garage at 100 Chestnut St in the Five Star Bank Building and other areas parking garages.


For information on sponsorships, collecting toys for kids, and scheduling private events, contact Jenna at (585) 943-0796 or jenna@rocholidayvillage.com.


Sponsors to date include the City of Rochester, Five Star Bank, Wegmans, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester Regional Health, 13WHAM, FOX Rochester and The CW, Mason Digital, Kids Out and About, Marsh Construction Services, Inc., Roc Kids Smile, Bella Events Group, and McCarthy Tents & Events.

Related News:

New holiday festivities set for downtown: Roc Holiday Village – 13WHAM-ABC

Rock into the holidays with ROC Holiday Village – News10NBC/WHEC

Santa is coming! Holiday ‘signature event’ planned for downtown – Democrat & Chronicle

Downtown will have a ‘Holiday Village’ in DecemberCITY Newspaper