Park Avenue Festival cancellation pushes local businesses to host their own shows


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For the second year in a row, the Park Avenue Festival in Rochester was cancelled due to the pandemic worrying some of another outbreak. Businesses and their clientele however, are working to make a comeback with their own celebrations. 

The DragonFly Bar and the Public House, two of Rochester’s entertainment hotspots, are holding their own live music performances with unique food vendors, making the best of the unusually quiet neighborhood atmosphere.  

The weekend meant to bring out hundreds of vendors to promote their own businesses for the local community was canceled as Monroe County’s seven-day average in new COVID cases spiked to about 84. 

“I think we would have been ok if we did have the festival and I really miss it,” Dan Medina, who lives on Park Avenue said.  

While some in the area were disappointed by the festival’s cancellation, others were pleased to know Rochester is prioritizing safety measures.

“Working at the hospital I think keeping the cases down in our community is definitely important,” Park Avenue resident Eddie Shanley said. “So, limiting social interactions and social contact especially in a big social gathering with a lot of different people coming from various places is probably a clever idea.”  

The many restaurants that line the block of Park Avenue would typically benefit from thousands of dollars in revenue sales. Despite that, they decided to do make the most of the weekend.  

“I could tell you that it would be packed all day,” Sinbad’s Manager Keenan Englerth said. “And today as you can see it’s not exactly like that. Unfortunate but again we understand.”  

Festival regulars and nearby residents are keeping their heads up for next year. For many, the festival brings a lot to the community and is well worth the wait.   

“We just go up and down both days and usually buy a couple of things a day,” Shanley said. “And you just see a ton of people doing that. So, it’s great having vendors coming in from everywhere and for the businesses along Park Ave.”  

Many restaurants and bars will stay open Saturday playing live music as they continue to entertain hundreds of people that were ready for the area’s big festival.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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