1. The city of Rochester celebrates the Fourth of July with fireworks at 10 p.m. Downtown bridges are prime viewing spots. Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Music Director Ward Stare, plays at 9 p.m. cityofrochester.gov/july4

2. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks return with the Tedeschi Trucks Band July 8 at 7 p.m. at Highland Bowl. Wood Brothers and Hot Tuna are along for the ride on the Wheels of Soul Summer Tour.  The show starts at 7 p.m. rochesterevents.com

3. Experience English life circa 1585 during Sterling Renaissance Festival, Saturdays and Sundays from July 1 to Aug. 13. The village of Warwick and its citizens—from the castle to the scullery—come to life. The festival has a full-time professional corps of actors chosen from a national audition who rehearse for weeks. sterlingfestival.com

4. In four sessions of the new Geva Play Club at Geva Theatre Center, literary-minded patrons this summer will explore upcoming plays in-depth: “The Agitators: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass,” “Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End,” “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Heartland.” To participate, call 420-0452 or send an email to cflorack@gevatheatre.org.

5. Celebrate the Fourth of July the way Western New Yorkers did in the 1800s—with exuberance. On July 4, Genesee Country Village & Museum will have pie-eating contests, games of town ball, a parade and patriotic concerts. Fifty new Americans will take their naturalization oaths on the steps of the historic town hall. gcv.org

At the Glen

Watkins Glen International will be at full throttle June 29 to July 2 with Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen. This year, the weekend features the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge, Porsche GT3 Cup USA and Canada, and Lamborghini Super Trofeo. Off the track, check out the driver autograph sessions, performances by Iron Horse and Aunt Millie’s Biscuits on Friday and fireworks on Saturday. theglen.com

Take a music break 

If you work downtown and could use a break over your lunch hour, you have your choice of live music options in July.

On Wednesdays, head to Aqueduct Park on the south side of East Main Street, just west of the Main Street Bridge. Shows start at noon, and the leafy park has plenty of places to set up in the shade: July 5, the Walter Chapman Experience; July 12, Me & the Boyz; July 19, 5 Con Swing; July 26, the Travis Prinzi Band; and Aug. 2, 40 Rod Lightning.

At the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, three shows are slated at noon on Tuesdays in the Dorris Carlson Reading Garden adjacent to the library’s Bausch & Lomb Building.

Enter by way of the library’s Broad Street entrance: July 11, violist Alexander Pena; July 18, Ad Hoc Music Ensemble (both classical music); and July 25, Ginger Majority, above, playing contemporary contra dance tunes with fiddles, cello, guitar and percussion. cityofrochester.gov

It’s about perspective

The actors in Bristol Valley Theater’s upcoming “Art” like the play so much they are switching roles halfway through the run.

Chris Handley, Seth James and BVT associate artistic director David Shane play longtime friends. One of them spends a small fortune on a modern painting—a white background patterned with white lines—that his friends just don’t get. The ensuing conversation escalates into a battle of opinions about art and one another. The French comedy by Yasmina Reza won a Tony Award for best play.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for the actors to see the play from two points of view, but also for the audience to see how two different actors approach the same role,” says Karin Bowersock, the show’s director and BVT’s executive artistic director.

Performances run from June 29 to July 9 at the Naples theater. Patrons who want to see both versions of the production can bring their ticket stub from the first week to see the show during the second week for $5. Call the box office at 374-6318 for details. bvtnaples.org

Rewind Rochester

The 1,200-acre Eastman Business Park, formerly Kodak Park (above), has a history unique to Rochester. Join a walking tour July 13, led by the park’s vice president, Tim Palmer. You’ll visit the former Theater on the Ridge, now Kodak Center, along with the gymnasium, the lost pool, Kodak founder George Eastman’s memorial and the east end of the park, where Eastman started Kodak Works.

The tour is part of the city’s Thursday night history and nature hikes. Here are the rest; each starts at 6 p.m.:

  • Rochesterville, July 20: Local historian Hal Schuler leads an exploration of the former village of Rochesterville downtown. Meet at the steps of the Rundel library building on South Avenue.
  • Washington Grove, July 27: Walk under a canopy of 250-year-old oak trees. Meet at the kiosk in the open field behind the pine grove at Cobbs Hill Reservoir.
  • Port of Rochester and the Secret Sidewalk, Aug. 3: Learn about Ontario Beach Park’s history and architecture with historian Mike Parker. Meet at the Port of Rochester terminal.
  • Lower Falls Gorge, Aug. 10: Guide Ken Knapp will lead a tour of Upper and Lower Falls. Learn about the long-gone communities of Carthage and McCrackenville. Meet at the Maplewood Rose Garden parking lot.
  • Susan B. Anthony Neighborhood, Aug. 24: Interns from Prosper Rochester will lead tours of the neighborhood where the famous suffragist lived and worked for 40 years. Meet at the Prosper Rochester storefront at 540 W. Main St. cityofrochester.gov

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.

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