37th Annual Greater Rochester Heritage Days Festival in the Park Brings Old-Fashioned Family Fun to Downtown Rochester

There is something for everyone at the 37th Annual Greater Rochester Heritage Days Festival which takes place Saturday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Municipal Park in downtown Rochester.

Photo credit: The Greater Rochester Heritage Days Festival Committee

Photo credit: The Greater Rochester Heritage Days Festival Committee

The festival celebrates the community’s history, traditions and culture and is chocked-full of old-fashioned family entertainment.

The festival opens on Saturday, May 24 at 10 a.m. and coincides with the City of Rochester’s official dedication of the new band shell in the Rochester Municipal Park. The North Oakland Dixieland Band will perform for the festival opening and band shell dedication from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

The popular and comical “Great Lakes Timber Show,” featuring Bruce Belanger of Escanaba, Michigan, headlines the festival’s entertainment offerings. This exciting lumberjack exhibition returns for its third year at the festival and will feature logrolling, ax throwing, and chainsaw carving during several performances each day.

Sunbathers cool off in the water near the car show. Photo credit: Susan Taber

Sunbathers cool off in the water near the car show. Photo credit: Susan Taber

Classic car aficionados will enjoy the always popular Rochester Lions Club classic car show which features the Heritage Rod and Custom Car Festival on Saturday and the 35th annual Festival of Cars on Sunday. Trophies will be awarded to custom cars, hot rods, street rods, corvettes, pre-1950 classics, sports cars and more on Saturday. On Sunday, trophies will be awarded in 18 classes for original cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, 4 x 4’s, and more. All proceeds from the Rochester Lions Club car festivals will benefit the Leader Dogs for the Blind and other Lions club charities. Both shows are limited to cars from 1989 and older. To show a car you must pre-register by May 21 and pay a registration fee of $20 per car. Space is limited. Visit www.rochesterlionsclub.org for more information.

Children and families will have a grand time at the Pioneer Playground where they can play old-fashioned games and participate in fun activities such as bean bag toss, walking on wooden stilts, gourd bowling and more. Kids will also enjoy camel rides and a petting zoo on both days of the festival.


Photo credit: Susan Taber

Dinosaur Hill’s “Crafts Along the Creek” returns with dozens of vetted local artists and a variety of hand-crafted items ranging from jewelry and photography to children’s clothing and garden decorations.

“Not only is Crafts Along the Creek a great place to find one-of-a-kind items,” said Sue Neal, executive director of Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and organizer of the art show, “It is also an important fundraiser for Dinosaur Hill. It truly makes shopping at an event like this so special because every purchase supports a local non-profit, as well as local artists and craftspeople.”

The festival’s Heritage Area will include numerous exhibits from the Rochester-Avon Historical Society, the Oakland Township Historical Society, and the local chapters of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution. There will also be demonstrators in chair caning, tatting, rug hooking, wheel-spinning, and quilting.

Additional festival highlights include many food choices, vintage tractor displays, fire-truck demonstrations with the Rochester Fire Department, the Tenth Michigan Infantry Civil War re-enactors and encampment, the Rochester Hills Public Library’s Bookmobile, and more.

For a great start to each festival morning the public is welcome to enjoy a pancake breakfast at the Rochester Community House on May 24 and May 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The cost for the breakfast is $7 for adults and $4 for children and includes pancakes, sausages, coffee and juice. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

Admission to the Greater Rochester Heritage Days Festival is free. The festival takes place rain or shine. For more information visit dinosaurhill.org/HeritageDays2014 or look for Greater Rochester Heritage Days on Facebook.

The festival is made possible through contributions and generous sponsors from The Rochester-Avon Historical Society, the Rochester Historical Commission, the Oakland Township Historical Society, Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, Rochester Elevator, Byers Wrecker, Dillman & Upton, Whim’s Insurance Agency Inc., Chomp’s Deli, The Framer’s Workshop, Bloomingdale Construction, Wyndgate Country Club, Johnson & Anderson Inc., Doolin & Haddad Advanced Dentistry, Lytle Pharmacy, Trent Design, and the Oakland Press.

All information in this press release was provided to Rochester Media.


About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.


  1. I was wondering how to apply to have a booth in your craft area during this festival.

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