Rochester eclipse: Guide to celebrations and viewing parties on the big day

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On Monday, April 8, the skies over Rochester will go completely dark as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth during the total solar eclipse.

News10NBC is Rochester’s Eclipse Headquarters and has your guide to celebrating the eclipse. There are plenty of celebrations across the region this week ahead of the eclipse and viewing parties on eclipse day.

All of Monroe County and most of the region will be in the eclipse’s path of totality. You can see if your area will be in the path here. On eclipse day, skies will start to get dark at 2:07 p.m. Totality starts at 3:20 p.m. and will last for 3 minutes and 38 seconds in the city. Skies will return to normal around 4:33 p.m.

To watch the eclipse, you’ll need a pair of eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while staring at the sun. You can see a list of places to buy the glasses here. The eclipse is expected to bring up to 500,000 visitors to the region.


Strong Museum Solar Spectacular (Monday, April 1 through Monday, April 8)

Strong Museum’s Solar Spectacular runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, April 1 through eclipse day. There will be spaced-themed displays, play with the planets, and a chance to remodel a space rover.

The celebration also includes an astronaut training camp where guests can work with control panels, do research on moon rocks, and strap into the spaceship. There will also be space-themed arcade machines in eGameRevolution.

On eclipse day, there will be crafts in the Play Lab. Guests can learn about the science of the eclipse from astrophysicist Kamryn Griffith. There will also be eclipse glasses available for guests. You can get tickets here.

Genesee Country Village & Museum eclipse celebration (Friday, April 5 through Monday, April 8)

Genesee Country Village & Museum will hold three days of celebration leading up to the eclipse and a viewing party in the 19th-century historic village.

The museum will offer the opportunity to learn how 19th-century Americans viewed and recorded total solar eclipses. Visitors can see reproductions of articles about eclipses in the print office, learn about women in science like Maria Mitchell at the Romulus Seminary, and learn about 19th-century eclipse photography in the Law Office. 

Visitors can also learn about the science of solar eclipses at the Nature Center and make their own pinhole camera. There will also be celestially-themed treats and baked goods in the D.B. Munger & Co. Confectionery. You can get learn more and get tickets here.

Stokoe Farms eclipse celebration (Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8)

Stokoe Farms will celebrate the eclipse with a petting zoo, zip line, bounce pillow, and other activities on April 6 through 8.

‘The Dark Side of the Farm’ will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekend of April 6 and April 7. The day of the eclipse, Monday, April 8, the festivities will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will feature more than 20 activities including a low ropes course, a straw fort and slide, wagon rides, and nature trails.

At the petting zoo on the farm, you can meet an emu pair, an African crested porcupine, goats, a miniature donkey, and a mule. There will also be a kangaroo pasture and pony rides. Stokoe Farms is at 656 South Road, Scottsville. You can get tickets and learn more here.

The first 100 people to order a Genecelestial beer, the brewery’s exclusive beer for the eclipse, will get a pair of eclipse glasses commemorating the event. You can also by the limited-edition eclipse glasses at the Genesee Brew House gift shop.

Seneca Park Zoo eclipse celebration (Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8)

The Seneca Park Zoo is holding activities leading up to the eclipse and a viewing party on eclipse day. There will be workshop to make pinhole camera for safe eclipse viewing on Saturday, Sunday, and eclipse day.

In addition, NASA heliophysicist Skyler Kleinschmidt will speak at noon on Saturday and narrate the eclipse as it happens on eclipse day. There will also be a talk with astrophysicist Emily Rice at noon on Sunday. You can get tickets here. Ever wonder how animals at the zoo will react to the eclipse? Watch our story here.

City: Rochester Museum and Science Center (Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8)

The Rochester Museum and Science Center will celebrate the total solar eclipse with a three-day festival. The festival will include live music, keynote speakers, food trucks, and oppurinities to learn about the science behind the eclipse.

The celebration also includes Planetarium shows throughout each day, outdoor telescopes, and singing Tesla Coil shows. You can get tickets here.

On Saturday, the museum will host the After Dark–Galactic Getdown, a silent disco with a space bar trivia featuring two local astronomy researchers and eclipse-themed drinks. It will run from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Strasenburgh Planetarium.

Saturday’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Phil Plait, known as the “Bad Astronomer” online and the head science writer for “Bill Nye Saves the World” on Netflix in 2017. Sunday’s speaker will be Cate Larsen, who seeks to bring geology to the masses through her “Groovy Geologist” account on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

After the eclipse’s totality on Monday, rising country music star Dylan Marlowe will perform at RMSC. He’s the singer of “Boys Back Home,” “Record High,” and “I Will (When You Do)”.

City: Black Button Distilling (Friday, April 5 through Monday, April 8)

Black Button Distilling will release its specialty Dark Sky Gin at its solar eclipse viewing party. The party will run noon to 9 p.m. at its tasting room on 1344 University Avenue.

The Dark Sky Gin has a dark purple due and a hologram label to commemorate the eclipse. There are 200 bottles available for presale here.

Tickets to the eclipse viewing party come with a pair of eclipse glasses, a bottle of Dark Sky Gin, a commemorative rock glass, and more. You can get tickets here.

Before the eclipse, Black Button will host a Dark Sky Gin Blending Class on Friday, April 5. The event, led by Master Distiller Jeff Fairbrother, will teach people how to blend the botanical gin and take away their own variation. In addition, Black Button will serve Dark Sky Gin cocktails and an eclipse-themed food menu on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7.

City: Genesee Brew House (Monday, April 8)

The Genesee Brew House will be full of live music, food specials, and specialty beer on the day of the solar eclipse. The Beer Garden will open at 1 p.m. and there will be a viewing party for the eclipse.

City: Parcel 5 downtown (Monday, April 8)

Parcel 5 in downtown Rochester will host “Party in the Dark”, a free viewing party for the eclipse. It runs from noon to 4 p.m.

At the party, you can see streams of concerts at Parcel 5’s jumbo outdoor projector. There will be seating areas and fire pits to gather around. Blankets and chairs are welcome.

There will also be food trucks, wine, and local craft beer including a special Totality Black Lager from
Rohrbach Brewing Co. After the eclipse, there will be an after party at La Bola inside Mercantile on Main. The party runs from 4 to 7 p.m.

City: Rochester Public Market (Monday, April 8)

The Rochester Public Market is holding an all-day celebration and viewing party for the eclipse. Roc the Solar Eclipse runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring family-friendly activities, eclipse-themed crafts, chocolate and beer tastings, and food trucks.

There will also be eclipse-themed merchandise and a sensory-friendly safe space option. It begins at 9 a.m. The celebration is in partnership with Rohrbach Brewing Company and Laughing Gull Chocolates.

City: Innovative Field (Monday, April 8)

The Rochester Red Wings are holding an eclipse viewing party at Innovative Field from noon to 5 p.m. At the event, the Red Wings will unveiled the “Solarpalooza” logo, a playful twist on the eclipse with team mascot Spikes.

The event also offers entertainment, raffle prizes, and celestial-themed attractions, along with specialty food and beverages. Attendees will also see a live NASA video feed on the video board. You can get tickets here.

City: Tropix Eatery near Ontario Beach Park (Monday, April 8)

The Charlotte Community Association is holding a viewing party at Tropix Eatery and Lounge near Ontario Beach Park. The beach will offer an unobstructed view of the eclipse near Lake Ontario.

Tropix will open its doors at 10 a.m. and will have two stages of music. Bands will begin playing at 11 a.m. and will include local bands M80’s, Mesh, and Another Vice. The community association will sell eclipse glasses, hot dogs, drinks, and snacks. You can learn more here.

City: Corn Hill (Monday, April 8)

The Corn Hill Neighbors Business Association is holding an eclipse party with special deals from businesses on Exchange Boulevard.

Corn Hill Navigation has live music at the patio from 1:30 to 3 p.m. along with activities for all ages. It will also be 10% off for a ride on the Riverie and the Sam Patch. Neutral Grounds coffee house is offering a buy one drip coffee, get one free. There will also be 15% off for lattes and smoothies. You can learn about more deals here.

Brighton: Buckland Park (Monday, April 8)

The Town of Brighton will hold an eclipse viewing party at Buckland Park with live music from the band SHINE, food trucks, children’s activities, lawn games, and guided hikes. It will run from 1 to 5 p.m.

Organizers recommend that people bring blankets, chairs, and eclipse glasses. People can park at Brighton Town Hall and walk to Buckland Park through the Brickyard trail which is full of bunny-themed eclipse stations. There will also be parking at Buckland Park and across the street at the Church of the Latter Day Saints on Westfall Road.

Organizers are also asking that people bring non-perishable food items to the Brighton Food Cupboard in exchange for eclipse glasses. You can also get eclipse glasses at libraries throughout Monroe County. You can learn more here.

Penfield: Harris Whalen Park (Monday, April 8)

Penfield is holding an eclipse watch party with food trucks along with arts and crafts at Harris Whalen Park from noon to 4 p.m. People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

Eclipse glasses are available at Penfield Town Hall and each resident can get two free pairs. Glasses can be picked up at the welcome desk in the main lobby while supplies last. There will also be a limited number of free glasses at the viewing party.

Webster: Parks & Recreation (Monday, April 8)

Webster Parks & Recreation at 1350 Chiyoda Drive is holding a viewing party for the eclipse. It runs from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will include crafts, a space-themed story time, scavenger hunt, a photo booth, outdoor games, raffles, refreshments,, eclipse glasses, and more.

Webster: Arboretum (Monday, April 8)

The Webster Arboretum at 1700 Schlegel Road is holding a viewing party with poetry. Starting at noon, two local poets – Jennifer Maloney from Greece and Jonathan Everitt from Webster – will read at the gazebo.

People are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets, and eclipse glasses. The landscaped park will offer a place away from noise and light pollution. The Curry Building will be open from noon to 5 p.m. for complimentary hot and cold beverages.

Fairport: Casa Larga Vineyard (Monday, April 8)

Casa Larga Vineyard is holding a Planet Patio Party on eclipse day. It runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets include eclipse glasses, a wine souvenir glass, and a glass of wine or craft beer upon arrival.

At the vineyard, there will be a lunch with dessert, fire pits, lawn games, music, and an unobstructed view of the sky. You can get tickets here.

Perinton: Memorial Post 8495 (Monday, April 8)

Perinton Memorial Post 8495 for Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold an eclipse viewing party that will include live music, kids games, and a telescope on site. The party will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Parking is free and there will be indoor and outdoor viewing points. There will also be food and drinks along with solar eclipse merchandise to buy. The memorial post is at 300 Macedon Center Road.

Irondequoit: Helmer Nature Center (Monday, April 8)

The West Irondequoit Central School District is holding a free eclipse festival and viewing party at Helmer Nature Center on Pinegrove Avenue. It runs from 1 to 5 p.m.

There will be hands-on activities, telescope stations, and a bounce house. All students and staff in the district will get free eclipse glasses. The Helmer Nature Center, West Irondequoit’s 40-acre outdoor classroom, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The House of Guitars is hosting a concert at their Rock Solar Fest at the I-Square stage from1-4 p.m. with live music from the band Last Exit. Eclipse glasses provided.

Gates: Total Sports Experience (Monday, April 8)

The Town of Gates will hold a viewing party for the solar eclipse with food vendors, kids activities, and entertainment. It takes place in the fields at the Total Sports Experience on Elmgrove Road from 1 to 5 p.m.

You can order a t-shirt, crewneck, or hoodie to commemorate the event here. Each item comes with eclipse glasses. Parking will be available at the Total Sports Experience and the Rochester Tech Park will serve as an overflow lot.

Brockport: SUNY Brockport campus (Monday, April 8)

The SUNY Brockport campus will get an extra five seconds of totality compared to most of the county during the solar eclipse because its located directly in the center of the path of totality.

The university is holding a viewing party the day of the eclipse. The party includes live entertainment starting at 11 a.m. and food trucks. You can get tickets to the event, starting at $80, here. Parking spots, eclipse glasses, and commemorative stickers are included.

Brockport: Soltality Music Festival (Monday, April 8)

The Soltality Music Festival will take place on eclipse day at Ledgedale Air Park in Brockport. The festival will include a lineup of several bands, food trucks, a local brewery tent, art vendors, and a viewing deck for people with telescopes.

Everyone who buys tickets will get a pair of eclipse glasses. Tickets start at $45 and children 10 and under are free. Lawn chairs are strongly encouraged. You can get tickets here.

Spencerport: Springdale Farm (Monday, April 8)

Springdale Farm at 700 Colby St. is holding a viewing party from noon to 5 p.m. The farm will celebrate with crafts, games, a bounce house, a temporary tattoo booth, photo opportunities, a petting zoo, and tours of the Riedman Robotic Milking Center. Tickets to the farm include eclipse glasses, snacks, and a lunch voucher. You can get tickets here.

Ganondagan Historic Site (Monday, April 8)

Ganondagan Historic Site is holding an eclipse viewing party to teach people about the role the eclipse plays in Haudenosaunee history. There will also be traditional games, Native American storytelling, and a discussion of the shared experience of witnessing totality.

The celebration runs from noon to 5 p.m. People can watch the eclipse from either the main event field or from the top of Fort Hill. Public event in field is at intersection of Boughton Hill Road and Murray Road in Victor. You can learn more here.

Livonia: Bowen Park (Monday, April 8)

Bowen Park in Livonia is hosting a viewing part for the eclipse with food, eclipse-themed face painting, crafts, games, and Twister’s Ice Cream.

It will run from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. You must bring your own solar eclipse glasses and children must be accompanied by an adult. If the parking lot of Bowen Park fills up, parking is available at the Methodist Church on Summer Street.

Bloomfield: Lazy Acre Alpacas (Monday, April 8)

Lazy Acre Alpacas in Bloomfield is holding an eclipse event with alpacas. Each person will get a cup of food to feed the alpacas and a pair of eclipse glasses. It will run from 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

People should bring their own chairs and blankets. There will be a beverage truck and a lunch cart or you can bring in your own food and drinks.

Geneseo: Village Park (Monday, April 8)

Geneseo Village Park at 132 Main Street will hold a viewing party with food and drinks. Eclipse glasses will be available at the event

Steuben County: Shawmut Park (Monday, April 8)

Shawmut Park in Hornell in Steuben County is holding a viewing party from noon to 5 p.m. There will be free eclipse glasses, food vendors, sundial kits, a raffle, face painting, and a DJ. There will also be a stream of a presentation from NASA.