ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Following its cancelation in 2022, the Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival will not be coming back in full form this year.
The Park Avenue Merchants’ Association confirmed the news in an email to News 8 Tuesday. In that email, Michael Nulton, president of the association, said they are trying to have a smaller event on Park Ave., similar in format to the Park Ave Holiday Open House.
Currently, there is an event listed on their website, “Stroll along the Avenue this summer! Save the dates — August 5 & 6.”
The prospects for the 2022 festival came into question just months before the festival, when Monroe County Legislators Rachel Barnhart (D-24) and Linda Hasman (D-23) co-wrote a letter to Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and Rochester Mayor Malik Evans saying they learned the festival was unlikely to take place.
Just like last year, the association says they are still working on finding a producer for the event, and to secure funding.
“To bring back Park Ave Summer Arts Festival we really need strong city support including sufficient police, fire and ambulance services, strong local community and government support, as well as funding, and a competent/capable promoter,” Nulton said in an email to News 8. “We have none of this, unfortunately… Most of us are still very eager to see the festival come back, and are in talks with outside promoters for 2024.”
We spoke with some business-owners and residents of the Park Ave. area. Peter Gines, the owner of Jines Restaurant says they’re actually relieved to not have the festival in “full” fashion this year.
“It’s busy. It’s really busy. It’s a crazy time. It’s all hands on deck. We like to use the term “organized chaos” okay, hopefully it’s organized. It’s difficult, it’s stressful, you’re serving a lot of people. Open up all day, you’re working long hours. You do – you sacrifice a lot.”
However – David Shapiro a silversmith that participates in the festival says he depends on this income.
“I’m not the only one, there’s a lot of people. I usually do like 5 to 6,000 at the festival. Every year I did it. I’ve been doing it for probably about 15 years. And it’s one of those festivals I would do and then I would go off to Greece.”