June 30 to July 7, 2016
City celebrates Independence Day
The Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. Rochester celebrates with live music and fireworks Monday. (Many surrounding communities have events planned this weekend as well.) Music by the Judah Sealy Band is featured beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the Main St. Bridge. The RPO concert is on the Main Street Bridge at 9 p.m.; the city's popular fireworks display begins at about 10 p.m. Ward Stare conducts the RPO, and Mayor Lovely Warren narrates. Soprano Elena O'Connor is a featured performer. Parking is free in several downtown garages. Visit cityofrochester.gov or rpo.org.
Moonlight stroll at Sonnenberg
Visitors this summer can take a moonlight stroll through the gardens at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua. The Moonlight Stroll Music Series kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday with Nightfall After Dark performing music on the mansion veranda. The music plays Friday nights through Aug. 5. Visit sonnenberg.org to see the music lineup for upcoming strolls.
Time travel at Ren Fest
The Sterling Renaissance Festival opens for its 40th season July 2. This year's highlight is the WarwickInn, a three-story, multipurpose show venue that will offer pub food and beverages while featuring comic-style action, plays and stunt melee shows. The annual festival in Cayuga County runs weekends through Aug. 14. As a special this weekend, visitors can get one free child's ticket for every regular price ticket purchased. Visit sterlingfestival.com.
On the Big Screen
"The Legend of Tarzan" stars Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan, who left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife Jane (Margot Robbie). He has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament. "The Purge: Election Year" reveals the next terrifying chapter that occurs over 12 hours of annual lawlessness sanctioned by the New Founders of America to keep this country great. Find movie times.
Jazz Fest wraps up this weekend
The 2016 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival wraps up Saturday. Tonight's headliner is Grammy-winning trumpet player Chris Botti in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Friday's headliner is Gregg Allman. Allman is a rock icon and founding member of the legendary Allman Brothers. Los Lonely Boys play Friday and the Wood Brothers take the stage Saturday in free concerts on the East Avenue and Chestnut Street outdoor stage. Trombone Shorty performs a free show Saturday on the Midtown Outdoor Stage. Visit rochesterjazz.com to see the dozens more concerts.
Genesee Country Village & Museum on Monday marks Independence Day with a parade, concerts and an 11 a.m. naturalization ceremony to welcome nearly 50 people from countries all over the world. Highlights include a grand parade, a pie-eating contest and 19th-century games. Visit gcv.org for details. To learn about other events in our area, see the digital edition of Explore or visit the Explore website.