Where will the fireworks light up the Rochester sky?

Will the "Oooo"-and-"Ahhhh"-fest ever return to Silver Lake Park?

Fireworks are seen over Soldiers Memorial Field as part of 4th Fest Sunday, July 4, 2021, in Rochester. (Joe Ahlquist /
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Dear Answer Man: Do you know why the Fourth of July fireworks and festivities have not moved back to Silver Lake? Many of us long time Rochester residents had been looking forward to a return of this long time tradition. Thank you for your time. — Silver Lake Lover.

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Dear Silver: You asked this in a nick of time, much like how the fuse on a stick of dynamite is snuffed out right before blowing up the train tracks.

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If you're missing your favorite old tree in Silver Lake Park where you traditionally spread the blanket, have some snacks then "Ooooo" and "Ahhhh" the night away, I've got bad news. The city of Rochester has no plans to move the fireworks back to Silver Lake Park.

According to my Answer Man minions, the reasons are many. First, Soldiers Field Park is seen as more of a festival venue. Rochesterfest is held there. Other festivals are scheduled for Soldiers Field. It's the place to be according to the city's Parks and Recreation Department. Monday there will be music, food trucks and, you guessed it, fireworks all at Soldiers Field Park.

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Second – and this is connected to the first reason – traffic is better for the fireworks when they've been fired off from Soldiers Field. People can view the fireworks either from the park or from their cars at multiple commercial parking lots that surround the area. And there's even a good view from the Graham Arena area.


The 2020 move away from Silver Lake Park was proposed with the expectation that the Soldiers Field location would provide staffing efficiencies and safer operations after years of traffic, staffing and safety concerns at Silver Lake Park. Park revisions have also provided a more festival atmosphere for music programming ahead of the fireworks.

Expect the booms and pops to start shortly after sunset Monday night.

So, while your old tradition may be gone, maybe it's time to start a new one, and find a new favorite viewing spot. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some fuses to light.

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