Arguably no large city in New York State outside of New York City itself is a more vibrant destination for arts and music. A progressive academic city, Rochester is a great base for exploring the shoreline of Lake Ontario and the sophisticated inns, restaurants, and wineries of the nearby Finger Lakes region. In mid-July, this city of 211,000 hosts Rochester Gay Pride, which is produced by the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley.
The dates this year are July 15 through July 17, 2016, but there are a number of related events taking place during the week leading up to Pride.
For a full list of Rochester Pride parties and events, consult the official Pride schedule - the festivities commence on Friday, July 15, with a flag-raising at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, in Manhattan Square.
The following day, Saturday, July 16, is the time for the Rochester Gay Pride Parade, held from 1 pm until 3ish and running along Park Avenue (the procession begins at Park Avenue and Argyle, and it ends at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Manhattan Square). (Here's a map of the parade route). Taking place throughout that afternoon at MLK Park is the Rochester Gay Pride Festival, held from 1 until 9 pm at the festival grounds in Cobbs Hill Park. In addition to vendors, food, and family activities, the festival will present entertainment by a number of talented artists.
Tickets to the festival cost $15 at the gate (or $10 if you buy them in advance). On Sunday, July 17, the festival continues in Cobbs Hill Park from 11 am until 6 pm.
Rochester Gay Resources
For more on the Rochester gay scene, check out the helpful local LGBT publication and website Empty Closet gay newspaper, which is one of the longest-running such publications in the country.
Also take a look at the excellent gay travel site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Visit Rochester. And for more on the surrounding region, have a look at my article on gay travel in the Finger Lakes.