On Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30, Genesee Country Village & Museum will bring together partners from all over the expansive Genesee Valley Region for a weekend-long celebration exploring history, celebrating natural splendor, and discovering new ways to enjoy and preserve this important part of New York State. The Genesee Valley Great Outdoors Fest, in its first year held at the living history museum, will showcase all of what makes the Genesee Valley Region amazing – from big vistas at High Falls and Letchworth, to lesser traveled paths along the Genesee Greenway Trail – and all the towns, attractions, shops, and organizations along the way. Visitors can explore hiking, rock climbing, yoga, axe throwing, creek wading, foraging, cooking, bicycling, local wildlife, and more – plus, see the Museum’s newly renovated Nature Center, watch an exciting lumberjack competition, shop an adventurous vendor fair, learn from partnering organizations from around the region, and so much more. Explore the ways in which New Yorkers in the 19th century connected with the outdoors, and how we’re still utilizing, protecting, and enjoying the bountiful outdoor wonders that make up the Genesee Valley Region today. The Genesee Valley Great Outdoors Fest is supported by a grant from Empire State Development and I LOVE NY/New York State's Division of Tourism through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. This event is also generously sponsored by Once Again Nut Butter and Palmer Food Services. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.gcv.org/event/the-genesee-valley-great-outdoors-festival-new/.
Explore the night skies and the geologic wonders below (a kick-off to the new festival)
Visitors are invited to kick off this new special event weekend with evening programming on Thursday, July 27: The Stars Above and the Gorge Below. Throughout the evening, join Conrad Baker from Letchworth State Park, for a discussion about the history of this local wonder and outdoor attraction, listen in on a talk by Rochester Museum & Science Center’s Eclipse Partnerships Coordinator, Dan Schneiderman, about the total solar eclipse in 2024, enjoy a family-friendly space-themed story time in the Nature Center Amphitheater, and of course, examine the night skies on a guided star walk with RMSC’s Dan Schneiderman and the Rochester Astronomy Club. Take advantage of the lack of light pollution in Mumford, NY, as you learn about the stars, the Perseids meteor shower, viewing Mars and Venus, and the International Space Station. Tickets are available for sale now at https://www.gcv.org/event/the-stars-above-and-the-gorge-below/.
Watch exciting feats of strength and explore logger sports (Saturday only)
Gather around the Great Meadow during this new festival weekend to watch an exciting logger-sports competition. See feats by lumberjacks and lumberjills from the New York State Lumber Jack Organization, explore axe throwing, log-chopping, operating the two-person saw, fire-building competitions, see men’s underhand and standing block, women’s underhand and standing block, axe throw, open hotsaw, springboard, obstacle pole and partner fire build activities. This is a real competition, with real prizes and stakes – don’t miss it!
Explore a multitude of outdoor adventures and thrilling activities for families
Guests will have the opportunity to explore all varieties of outdoor adventuring available in the Genesee Valley Region - hiking, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, axe throwing, yoga, camping, birding, and more. Join certified yoga instructor Robyn Paige (Vault Rochester) for outdoor vinyasa surrounded by heirloom gardens in the Historic Village (Saturday, July 29 at 11 a.m.). This yoga class is appropriate for all bodies and skill levels. Pre-registration for yoga is not necessary, and participation in this class is included in the cost of a ticket for the Genesee Valley Great Outdoors Fest. On Saturday, July 29, try axe throwing with Axecessive Force, and on Sunday, July 30, learn how to rock climb on a portable rock wall with Niagara Climbing Center. Additional tickets will be required for both rock climbing and axe throwing.
Explore the Historic Village and how 19th-century New Yorkers connected with the great outdoors
Visitors will make their way through the Museum’s 19th-century Historic Village and see how knowledgeable costumed interpreters are utilizing local game and products grown in our heirloom gardens to produce dishes authentic to the 19th-century in the Genesee Valley Region. Explore cooking demonstrations featuring: mock pigeon pie, rotisserie wild hare, planked fish, fricasseed eel, crystalized wildflowers, fried game hen, boiled quail eggs, twirled woodchuck, and more. See fresh heirloom vegetables and plants grown on-site and utilized in kitchens, learn tools and tricks of cooking over an open flame, and explore the ways in which agriculture in the 19th-century affected land use.
See the renovation process in the Nature Center at GCV&M
Genesee Country Village & Museum is excited to share with visitors on this event weekend the progress in a newly-renovated Nature Center. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore brand new interpreted exhibit spaces, meet the critters who call this building home, and learn from Naturalists about the natural history of the Genesee Valley Region. Those interested in supporting this renovation project and others like it are encouraged to make a gift.
Explore the history of waterfowling and bicycling in the John L. Wehle Gallery
Tour the exhibit Duck, Duck, Shoot! The Story of American Waterbirds (closing October 2023), to explore the hunting of waterbirds in 19th-century America – a practice moving from sustenance hunting to excessive hunting, from near destruction of waterbirds to an environmentally conscious and sustainable American pastime. Plus, learn all about Rochester NY’s 19th century bicycling craze during a curator-hosted talk on Saturday, July 29, from 2 – 3 p.m. Rochester, NY was the first in the nation to embrace the bicycle craze of the 1890s. The city was linked with its satellite neighbors by the construction of countryside “side paths” – by the hundreds of miles.
Shop vendors and meet exhibitors showcasing all things outdoors
Shop the outdoors and all things active! Explore vendors who will be selling wares on-site during the festival weekend: Burley Berries & Blooms, Vantastic Adventures, F. Oliver’s, Palmer’s Food Services, Once Again Nut Butter, Tree Hugger Cider, The Spice Project, Meliora Rocks and Minerals, Crust Pie Co., Endlessly Outdoors, Botanical Ben, Trail Otter, Day Trips Around Rochester,” Robin Flanigan (author of “100 Things to do in Rochester Before you Die,” Oshi Ghee, Free Style Mercantile, Patti’s Sewing Passion, StirCrazy Kettlecorn, and Firefly Dairy Goats. Plus, learn from a wide variety of partnering organizations from around the Genesee Valley Region: New York State DEC (Division of Hunter Education and Division of Land & Forests), Cornell Cooperative Extension, Sierra Club, Cumming Nature Center, Seneca Waterways Council, Camp Puzzle Peace, Wyoming County NY Tourism, Livingston County NY Tourism, Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District, Adirondack Mountain Club–Genesee Valley Chapter, Genesee Valley Hunt Club, MCSD& URMC Kessler Trauma Team, Rochester Museum & Science Center (Strasenburgh Planetarium), PRISM (Invasive Species Task Force), Western NY Side Saddle Chapter, Climate Solutions Accelerator, Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Genesee Valley Trail Towns, Rochester Community Bikes, Seneca Park ZooMobile, Heritage Christian Stables, Hodinöhsö:ni’ partners from the Ganondagan State Historic Site, the Cattaraugus, Tonawanda, and Allegany Territories, Braddock Bay Raptor Research, Finger Lakes Trail Conference, Mumford NY Fire Department, Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway, Genesee Valley Trail Towns, Nunda Ranch, Oatka Creek Watershed, and Explore Genesee Valley.
Purchase tickets online in advance
Tickets for The Genesee Valley Great Outdoors Fest are currently available online at https://www.gcv.org/event/the-genesee-valley-great-outdoors-festival-new/. Tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for seniors (62+), $20 for students (13 – 18), $17 for youth (12 and under), free for kids 3 and under, and free for GCV&M Members. Visitors are encouraged to buy tickets online and save – there will be a small additional fee for tickets purchased at the door. Click here to learn more about becoming a GCV&M Member.
Tickets and more information about upcoming events can be found online at https://www.gcv.org/events/.