After 22 years, Park Ave. Festival organizers ‘passing on the torch’

Around Town

(News 8 WROC Photo/Matt Driffill)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For the first time in more than two decades, there will be new organizers for the Park Ave. Summer Arts Festival.

Longtime festival producer Jeff Springut, of Rochester Events!, says his group is “passing on the torch” after a 22-year run.

Springut says his group of festival producers have taken the event “as far as they can” and that they are “happy with the success” they achieved.

A committee between Park Avenue neighbors and merchants will be interviewing prospective promoters and producers, and Springut says his group will help the future organizers get on the right track.

Springut says the decision to move off the Park Ave. Fest was to free up more time in their schedule, and to focus more of that time on other Rochester Events! organized festivals like Lilac Festival, Party in the Park, and Midtown Eats.

Park Ave. Fest is one of Rochester’s most popular summer events, with hundreds of artists and vendors lining more than a mile of the neighborhood, renowned for its architecture, culture, and hip urban atmosphere.

While there were no official arrests on the festival grounds this year, on the Saturday of the event, a crowd of 200 began throwing cans and bottles at police. They were dispersed using pepper spray.  Police say arrests were made in connection to this incident, but add that those arrests were not connected to the festival.

Also, a video that made the rounds on social media shows a fight outside a bar on Park Avenue. The owner of that bar said he believed that they were isolated incidents. 

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