Bello, Mayor Evans unveil plans for Monroe County’s 200th anniversary


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello was joined by Rochester Mayor Malik Evans, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy, and fellow community leaders Wednesday morning to announce plans to celebrate Monroe County’s bicentennial throughout 2022.

The theme for Monroe County 200th anniversary will be “Celebrate More.” Bello emphasized that this year’s festivities will carry the spirit of fun with them and act as a benchmark for a more exciting future.

“Make no mistake, we are on the path of recovery,” Bello said. “We start our next 200 years by looking ahead to bring Monroe County back by making it safer, better and more exciting.”

To celebrate Monroe County’s bicentennial, local leaders announced a number of festivities will be held county-wide that capture the area’s history, culture and diversity, and most importantly fun.

The first event of Monroe County’s birthday celebration will be held this coming Sunday at Mendon’s Park.

Winterfest at Mendon’s Park is a free community event for the entire family to enjoy sledding hills, cross-country skiing, hiking, demos and try-it opportunities, arts and crafts, and chainsaw carvings.

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and mark the start of celebrations in Monroe County.

“I urge everyone to ‘Celebrate More’ this Sunday,” Bello said. “We want you to help us celebrate Monroe County, this isn’t just about events, we hope this brings us closer as a community. This is a year to remember where we came from to reflect on our struggles and to look toward our future with hope for even a greater 200 years.”

Monroe County officials also announced an independent website for ‘Celebrate More’ that allows residents to view a complete list of upcoming events that will be featured in this year’s bicentennial calendar.

Additionally, locally-based community groups, businesses and faith organizations are urged to submit their own festivity idea to be promoted during the year.

Bello said community events will run throughout 2021 with bigger festivities like music concerts, theatre performances, festivals and more to feature one per season.

The county executive pointed out that despite the ongoing pandemic, there is a larger selection of activities to attend to compared to previous years.

“Some of these events haven’t taken place since 2019,” Bello said. “We are working closely with historians to develop programs that will allow us to properly acknowledge Monroe County. Our community is rich with diversity and experience in culture.”

Rochester’s new mayor Malik Evans described participating in “Celebrate More” as more than simply going out to an event.

“We should think about today as the future,” Evans said. “We should be thinking about what we want Monroe County to be 200 years from now and I think this bicentennial allows us to that. It allows us to come together in a fun way and really appreciate each other. Happy Birthday Monroe County.”

Wednesday’s announcement was held at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester. In attendance was Monroe County historian Carolyn Vacca expressed the need for residents to have fun again.

“I can’t think of a more fitting spot to inaugurate this annual celebration,” Vacca said. “Strong Museum reminds us that play is fun and that play is also serious. ‘Celebrate More’ calls us to have some fun and I think everyone deserves some fun after the past two years.”

Monroe County officially celebrated its 200th year in 2021 with sporadic events and celebrations, but much of the plans were subdued due to the ongoing pandemic.

Chamber of Commerce President Bob Duffy also spoke on the bicentennials’ impact to the local economy.

“We have such great history of business innovation, success,” Duffy said. “To have the city and the county in a line is tremendous, you can’t have one without the other. There is so much to celebrate which will add to the revenue that comes in to our communities which means jobs and a better future. It has been a difficult past year but this year should be about excitement, that’s how we will grow as a community.”

A list of events along with updates will be regularly added to the bicentennial website. Additional festivities varying from cultural, historical, educational and recreation-based are expected to soon follow.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office also celebrated 200 years of service last year.

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Rochester Rundown
What's Good with Dan Gross
Songs From Studio B
Download Our App

Don't Miss