How Rochester is celebrating the holidays safely in 2020


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)—  People throughout Rochester are finding creative ways to get together safely this holiday season, and a newly released holiday guide is showcasing the way holidays celebrations this month have changed.

Instead of in-person holiday parties, many people are getting together online, and leaders with Visit Rochester have put together a Guide to 2020 Holiday Events in Rochester so that you know what is still happening and how to do it safely this year. 

Many people living in Rochester like Bennet Solymosy plan every year for big holiday parties with friends and family packed under one roof. This year, creative changes had to be made so that the holidays can still be celebrated. 

“We usually have a big Christmas party,” Solymosy said. “We usually do a fancy night where we all dress up, sort of like in fancy clothing, but this year we’re doing that over zoom as well.”

It’s not just about personal protection from COVID-19,. Solymosy says as a younger member of the community, he has a responsibility to others. 

“We don’t know who we interact with on a daily basis, we might have older family some of us have older family so it’s just out of a abundance of caution,” said Solymosy.

They aren’t the only ones changing holiday plans.

Governor Cuomo has continuously said that living room gatherings this holiday season could lead to an increase in cases of COVID-19. He is advocating for people to stay within their households and to only do socially distance and safe events. 

Those are the things the Visit Rochester Guide to 2020 Holiday Events talks about.

Visit Rochester is the official tourist promotion agency for Monroe County. The organization’s director of market communications and public relations, Rachel Laber Pulvino, says the holiday guide is about “looking at new and different ways they can hold these functions. Whether it’s virtually or online ticketing or just changing the way the experiences are within the organizations themselves.”

The guide showcases how traditional holiday events are changing, like the annual ginger bread display, which will have extra protective covering, holiday plays and shows being held virtually, and outdoors at Holidays at the Market.

While tourism has been down in the area, leaders with Visit Rochester says there has been some upsides to the pandemic. 

‘We’ve seen in 2020 a renewed interest especially amount locals and folks in upstate and New York state as a whole in really rediscovering Rochester and everything that we have to offer,” said Rachel Laber Pulvino.

These events are a great way to stay within your household bubble, while still getting out into the community. 

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