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Solar Spectacle Three-Day Festival

Friday, April 5 - Sunday, April 7 | 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Celebrate the Solar Spectacle with us!

Leading up to the Total Solar Eclipse over the greater Rochester area and Mumford, NY on April 8, at 3:20 p.m., Genesee Country Village & Museum is excited to host a three-day Solar Spectacle Festival! 

Explore how 19th-century New Yorkers experienced and recorded celestial events like eclipses as you explore our Historic Village, attend a Magic Lantern Show or enter a mobile planetarium in the John L. Wehle Gallery, dive into the science of eclipses at our Nature Center, enjoy totality tasty themed food and drink, and so much more!

Explore the 19th-century eclipse experience

Programming in the Historic Village

As you make your way around our 19th-century Historic Village, explore how 19th-century Americans viewed, understood, and recorded total solar eclipses (there was a total solar eclipse in Rochester in 1860!).

  • Learn about the connections between eclipses, the weather, and the US Navy in the Telegraph Office
  • Visit the Print Office to see reproductions of 19th-century articles about eclipses in production 
  • Learn about women in science like Maria Mitchell (pictured here) when you visit the Romulus Seminary
  • Write your own celestially-inspired poem and learn about Mabel Loomis Todd in the One Room Schoolhouse
  • Explore religious interpretations of celestial phenomena in the Shaker Trustees’ Building
  • Delve into celestial photography and tin type photography at the Law Office 
  • Learn all about 19th-century astronomical observation and scholarship in Rochester through historical figure Lewis Swift in the Livingston-Backus House 
  • and so much more!

(Image: Archives and Special Collections, Vassar College Library, Identifier No. 08.09.04)

Step into the science of solar eclipses

Programming with our Nature Center staff

Step into the science of total solar eclipses at our Nature Center! Join naturalists for fascinating programming during our eclipse event!

  • Make your own pinhole camera
  • Observe the skies through a telescope with the help of a naturalist
  • Participate in an interactive “to-scale” eclipse model on the Great Meadow
  • and so much more!

Learn through art and Museum collections

Programming in the John L. Wehle Gallery

Make your way to the John L. Wehle Gallery to explore the concept of total solar eclipse and other celestial happenings throughout history using art, collections, and objects! 

  • Enjoy programming inside of a mobile planetarium (Friday, April 5th only!) 
  • Attend 19th-century-style Magic Lantern Shows (three shows, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) 
  • Enjoy the exhibit “Becoming Gendered: Garment as Gender Artifact” 
  • See a micro-exhibit featuring diary entries, print advertisements, and other paper ephemera related to 19th-century eclipse observation in the Genesee Valley Region 
  • and so much more!

Equipment used in the Magic Lantern Shows is on loan to GCV&M from the Visual Studies Workshop. VSW was founded in 1969 in Rochester as one of the earliest independent, not-for-profit, artist-run spaces in the country. VSW continues to nurture experimental and expansive approaches to photography and media arts, building community among artists and the public through exhibitions, collections, publications and residencies.

VSW logo color

Totality Tasty

Food & Drink Offerings

All visitors can enjoy totality tasty food and drink offerings:

  • 19th-century celestially-themed treats and baked goods in the D.B. Munger & Co. Confectionery (Celestial Springerles, Black and White Handpies, and more!)
  • Rohrbach’s Brewing Co. Totality Black Lager on draft 
  • Food and drink available in the Depot Restaurant 
  • GCV&M’s historical craft beers (Fat Ox Ale and Stocking Hill Ale) on draft
  • and so much more!

Celestial Festival Fun

Music, vendors, and more!

Stop by our festival tent (Saturday, Sunday, & Monday) for live music, face painting, local vendors with eclipse-themed merchandise, totality tasty treats, and more! 

Make once-in-a-century memories

Make sure your eclipse weekend experience is one you’ll never forget!

Have a souvenir tin type photograph taken, purchase limited-edition GCV&M eclipse merchandise, and more.

Plus, our magnificent museum merch is available NOW in the Online Store and in the Flint Hill Store! Show your excitement for the eclipse by shopping our t-shirts, hoodies, hats, totes, posters, and more! 

Join us for totality on Monday, April 8!

Step outside of the hustle and bustle of cities like Rochester and Buffalo when you join us for a festival-like atmosphere without the crowds or light pollution big cities will see during this weekend of high-traffic tourism. Enjoy free, non-competitive parking, four designated viewing areas with un-obstructed sightline to totality, an all-access pass for food and non-alcoholic beverage included with the cost most ticket packages, fascinating hands-on historical programming in our 19th-century Village, Gallery, and Nature Center, and so much more. 

Ticket Information

Museum Members: $14

Museum Member (Youth): $11

Adults: $17

Youth (3 – 12): $14 

Children under 3: FREE 

FAQs

Is there ample parking?

Parking is free and plentiful! Park in any of the main lots at the front of the Museum. Please leave the first two bays available for handicapped parking. 

Where do I check in?

Check-in will be at the front of the Museum. You can also purchase tickets for this event in the Admissions tunnel. 

How do I show my purchased tickets?

Please have your ticket(s) either printed out OR pulled up on your phone screen and ready for scanning for quick and easy check-in. Pro-tip: take a screenshot of each of your tickets to have ready and pulled up on your phone screen! Please note: Wifi can sometimes be spotty at the front of the Museum. 

Is this event rain or shine?

Yes – this event is rain or shine! Please dress accordingly for the predicted weather conditions. We will cancel only in the case of thunderstorms or severe weather.

How should I dress?

Please dress accordingly for the predicted weather conditions.  

We recommend wearing a good pair of walking shoes – there is a lot to see and do, and surfaces in the Historic Village (brick paths, cobblestone, grass), can be uneven. 

I'm a member of the media and would like to report from GCV&M - can I do that?

Yes! We are welcoming the media to join us for this once-in-a-century event and have a suite of amenities available to our friends in the media. Please reach out to Director of Communications, Paige Engard, at pengard@gcv.org or 585-474-7695.

What if I need a refund for my ticket?

We’re sorry to hear that you’re not able to attend! Tickets for this event are strictly non-refundable and non-transferable by date, entry time, or program. 

Will I be able to see a total solar eclipse at this festival?

No – the Total Solar Eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8, 2024. This festival will take place in the days leading up to the eclipse. If you’d like to join us for viewing of the total solar eclipse at GCV&M, click here to purchase tickets for our event on April 8.

® I LOVE NEW YORK is a registered trademark and service mark of the New York State Department of Economic Development; used with permission.

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