Plans Announced Today for Second Annual City of Rochester Roc Holiday Village Presented by Five Star Bank

Set-up Begins Oct 21 –– Tickets on Sale for Igloos and Santa Events Nov 8 at 10 AM –– Grand Opening Dec 6

Co-founders, Jenna Manetta-Knauf, Kelli Marsh, and Sean McCarthy joined Mayor Lovely A. Warren to announced plans today for the second annual City of Rochester Roc Holiday Village presented by Five Star Bank.

The downtown Rochester event drew over 100,000 people of all ages from all over the region in 2018 and will once again feature family friendly activities including Santa’s Workshop, free ice skating, pop-up restaurants, bar, private igloos, shopping, holiday celebrations, ticketed events, and more for 14 days in December.

Roc Holiday Village will take place at 353 Court St. at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, utilizing the ice-skating rink and park. Set-up will begin on Monday, October 21 starting with two of the tent structures, followed by the foundation of wood flooring, then building the remaining tents, igloos and dome, and finishing the interiors.

Opening day is Friday, December 6, and continues through Saturday, December 7; Sunday, December 8; Friday, December 13; Saturday, December 14; Sunday, December 15; Thursday, December 19; Friday, December 20; Saturday, December 21; Sunday, December 22; Friday December 27; Saturday, December 28; Sunday, December 29; wrapping up on Tuesday, December 31.

Village hours will be Fridays 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurant and bar will be open for an extended hour until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets for select Santa events and private Igloos will go on sale starting Friday, November 8 at 10 a.m. online at: www.rocholidayvillage.com.

Pictured at Tuesday’s press conference L-R: co-founder Sean McCarthy; co-founder Kelli Marsh; co-founder Jenna Manetta-Knauf; Santa Claus; Mayor Lovely A. Warren, City of Rochester; Linda Lovejoy, Community Relations Manager, Wegmans; Marty Birmingham, president and CEO, Five Star Bank


Grand Opening is Friday, December 6

Roc Holiday Village opens Friday, December 6 at 4 p.m. and will include visits with Santa, free ice skating, free live music, free crafts for kids, pop-up restaurant, bar with wine and beer, igloos, food trucks, shopping, and more. Visiting the Village is free and open to the public.

“It is humbling and overwhelming to see how the community has supported Roc Holiday Village and our vision. Creating an event that is community based, inclusive and diverse is a true dream for me both professionally and personally,” said Manetta-Knauf, co-founder.

“Creating holiday memories for of all the children who come to visit, and even my own children, allows me to reflect back on what I remember fondly about the former Midtown Plaza’s Magic Mountain, and it fills me with pride. Roc Holiday Village is a true labor of love that we plan on pursuing for many years to come. There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to our sponsors and supporters for seeing through this idea with us. Thank you, Rochester!”

“We’re grateful to be able to present an event that welcomes our whole community to come together to celebrate the holiday season. Last year’s success wasn’t just based on the staggering numbers of attendees, but in all of the smiling faces we saw,” said Marsh, co-founder.

“People of all ages and backgrounds gathered at the festival and helped renew the holiday spirit that downtown Rochester had been missing. We’re so excited to be able to help bring that magic back again this year.”

“Roc Holiday Village exceeded everyone’s expectations in 2018, even our own. It was an over-the-top dream come true. Our amazingly talented team continues to work hard, with the help of Santa’s elves, to evolve and improve what was already viewed as perfect by so many. We look forward to sharing the magic all over again this December. It won’t cost you a dime to take home the priceless treasure of the Christmas Spirit,” said McCarthy, co-founder.

Highlights & What’s New

Santa’s Workshop

• A magical experience visiting Santa, Mrs. Claus and his elves to have your photo taken; digital photos will be free, printed photos will have a nominal fee
• See a section of the original Midtown Monorail
• Free cookies from Mrs. Claus’ bakeshop provided by Wegmans
• Santa’s mailbox for letters destined for the North Pole
• Holiday window displays designed by Five Star Bank, Wegmans, the Democrat & Chronicle, and 13WHAM
• Santa says farewell on Sunday, December 22 and will parade out of the Village at 5:30 p.m.

Free Events & Activities

• Ice skating and skate rentals presented by Wegmans
• Liberty Pole Lighting and Parade to Roc Holiday Village in conjunction with the City of Rochester on Saturday, December 7 at 4:30 p.m.
• NEW! Nativity with live animals to pet on Saturdays, December 14 and 21, and Sundays, December 15 and 22, presented by Marsh Construction and Swan Tile
• Figure skating performances presented by Thomas Creek Figure Skating Club and Genesee Figure Skating Club
• Curling Demonstration and instruction presented by Rochester Curling Club
• Sled hockey demonstration presented by Rochester Sled Hockey
• Learn to skate, learn to play hockey, broom ball, and skate with characters presented by Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex
• Live music in The Lodge and carolers in and around The Village
• Crafts for kids in the YMCA of Greater Rochester Gingerbread House
• Holiday celebrations to include Hanukkah on December 15, Kwanzaa on December 21, Christmas on December 22, Three Kings’ Day, and New Year’s Eve

Winter Igloos presented by Rochester Regional Health

• In 2018, reservations for two igloos sold out in less than 48 hours; a third igloo was added halfway through the event and sold out in less than one day
• Three additional igloos will be added this year for a total of six
• The igloos are geodesic dome covered lounges with a transparent view of the Village furnished with chairs, blankets, and pillows provided by West Elm
• Each igloo accommodates six people comfortably, or eight snuggly and includes bar service
• A seventh larger igloo (by Evolution Domes) can hold up to 20 people comfortably
• Pricing for booking an igloo will be announced in November
• Igloo reservations are required and can be booked online at www.rocholidayvillage.com starting on Friday, November 8 at 10 a.m.

Shopping and Eating in The Village

• Shop, eat and drink from more than 20 retail vendors; a complete list of retailers is online at www.rocholidayvillage.com
• Shop Roc Holiday Village official merchandise, one-of-a-kind keepsakes and collector items including mugs, ornaments, postcards, and more
• Mini Maker Markets featuring local artists, crafters, designers, DIYers, and confectioneries selling their goods on Saturday, December 14 from 2 to 9:30 p.m. and Thursday, December 19 from 4 to 9:30 p.m.

NEW! Food Trucks on Court St.

• Karma’s Cruisin Cafe
• Le Petit Poutine
• Marty’s Meats
• The Meatball Truck
• Tom Wahl’s
• Rustic Taco Bar

The Anthony Butera Team at Keller Williams Lodge – Bar and Restaurant
The indoor heated tent will be 50% larger than last year. A wine and beer bar plus rotation of pop-up restaurants will be presented each weekend, and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Beer is provided by Lake Beverage and Rohrbach Brewing Company. Wine selection will be announced in November.

• Marty’s Meats (December 6 – December 8)
• Antonetta’s (December 13 – December 15)
• Veneto (December 19 – December 22)
• AVVINO (December 27 – December 29)

Story Time with Santa
Story Time with Santa will be held inside of the YMCA of Greater Rochester Gingerbread House tent from 9:30 to 11 am on Sunday, December 8, Sunday, December 15, Saturday, December 21, and Sunday, December 22. Prices will be announced in November. Tickets will be available to purchase in advance online at: www.rocholidayvillage.com.

Pups Meet Santa
Photo ops with Santa and an ugly sweater contest for dogs will be held on Wednesday, December 17 when the Village is closed to the public. It’s presented by On the Move Pet Care and will take place in The Lodge. Tickets are $25 per person and will be available to purchase in advance online at www.rocholidayvillage.com starting Friday, November 8 at 10 a.m.

NEW! Tastes of the Season
During the final weekend, Friday, December 27 to Sunday, December 29, shopping vendors in the Village will be swapped out for food and drink vendors and Santa’s Workshop will change over to a free gaming room – The Rec Room –
with air-hockey, shuffleboard, racing games, pinball machines, arcade games, and more!

New Year’s Eve
To close out 2019, there will be private Igloos to reserve; the bar inside The Anthony Butera Team at Keller Williams Lodge will be serving beer, wine, and sparkling wine; ice skating and skate rentals will be free; The Rec Room (gaming) will be open; and AVVINO will be catering a prix fixe dinner inside of the YMCA of Greater Rochester Gingerbread House. Reservations for dinner can be made starting Friday, November 8th. More details will be announced November.

Postcard Contest
The second annual postcard contest is now open for submissions. Deadline is Thursday, November 7th. Entries can be submitted online at www.rocholidayvillage.com.

Private Events
A limited number of spots available for private parties inside the YMCA of Greater Rochester Gingerbread House and the Anthony Butera Team at Keller Williams Lodge. More information about availability and how to book a private party will be available online at www.rocholidayvillage.com starting Friday, November 8th at 10 a.m.

The complete schedule of events, including what’s planned for New Yer’s Eve, will be announced in November and can be found online at www.rocholidayvillage.com.

The Festival does not operate any parking but there are many surface lots and ramp parking garages conveniently located nearby. Metered parking will be available on area streets, plus at the Washington Square Garage, Allpro Parking Garage at the Five Star Bank Building, Court Street Garage, Midtown Garage, and Fairway Parking.


“Last year, we renewed the Downtown holiday spirit we experienced as kids for a new generation of our community,” said Mayor Lovely Warren. “The inaugural City of Rochester Roc Holiday Village was a resounding success, and this year it will be even better! Part of the magic of the Village is that all are welcome. I look forward to seeing you there.”

“Five Star Bank is proud to serve once again as presenting sponsor for Roc Holiday Village,” said Marty Birmingham, Five Star Bank President and CEO. “We embrace the opportunity and responsibility of supporting our communities through the underwriting of events such as this to enrich the lives of the residents of our communities. Roc Holiday Village has already become a wonderful downtown Rochester tradition for all the families of our community and we are pleased to help build on this tradition.”

About Roc Holiday Village
The City of Rochester Roc Holiday Village presented by Five Star Bank is Rochester, New York’s premier annual holiday festival bringing magic downtown for people of all ages. Roc Holiday Village is owned and produced by Rochester natives Jenna Manetta-Knauf, owner of Bella Events Group; Kelli Marsh, professional photographer; and Sean McCarthy, owner of McCarthy Tents & Events. Roc Holiday Village 2019 will present 14 days of enchanting festivities on weekends from December 6 to 29 including a New Year’s Eve celebration on December 31 marking the event’s second year. In the event’s first year, more than 120,000 people of all ages visited Roc Holiday Village in the heart of downtown Rochester at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Park for skating, shopping, live music, visits with Santa, crafts and more. Pop-up restaurants and bar in The Lodge and private igloo tents were a huge draw all 11 days last year.

About Jenna Manetta-Knauf
Deeply rooted in Rochester events, Jenna began her career running festivals in downtown Rochester in 2000. Her years of varied experience include everything from large scale festivals to small intimate weddings. Her events firm, Bella Events Group, is best known for their work with the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival (going on 15 years!), The Wilder Room, Roc Women’s Fest, RRH Savor! Rochester, RDDC’s Restaurant Week, and Trillium Health’s White Party. While she is gratified with her day to day work, her true passion of community and charity displayed through Roc Holiday Village is what she is most proud of. Manetta-Knauf resides in Hilton with her husband, Chris, and their two children.

About Sean McCarthy
Sean has worked in the tent and event industry locally and nationally since 1999. His company, McCarthy Tents & Events, was established in 2007 as a very small operation, and in just 10 years has become the region’s premier tent and event rental company. McCarthy Tents & Events continues to add quintessential Rochester events to its roster each year including the CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival, Lilac Festival, Park Avenue Festival, and Fringe Festival. Sean’s goal is to continue to take part in the rebirth of downtown Rochester and make it the top destination in the area. McCarthy resides in Fairport, with his wife, Heather, and their two children.

About Kelli Marsh
Born, raised and educated in Rochester, NY, Kelli Marsh brings a deep sense of nostalgia and passion to ROC Holiday Village. Kelli holds fond memories of family visits with Santa as a child and has experienced a variety of holiday celebrations in her world travels. Visits to Christmas markets in France, Germany, and New York City inspired her to be a part of the team that will bring holiday spirit back to downtown Rochester. Now a mother, she hopes to share the same magical holiday experiences with her son, and to bring a sense of celebration and community to her beloved hometown. Marsh resides in Irondequoit with her partner, Tomas Flint, and their son.

Roc Holiday Village 2019 Sponsors
City of Rochester, Five Star Bank, Democrat and Chronicle, Wegmans, 13WHAM/Fox Rochester/CW Rochester, CMI, Rochester Regional Health, The Anthony Butera Team and Keller Williams, Kodak Moments, The YMCA of Greater Rochester, 84 Lumber Lake Beverage, RIT, Rohrbach Brewing Company, Bella Events Group, Mason Digital, McCarthy Tents and Events, Marsh Construction, Swan Tile, On the Move Pet Care, Kids Out and About.com, Vida, The Pike Companies, West Elm, and IACKids.