Everything You Need to Know About Here Comes Santa Claus!

Here Comes Santa Claus
photo provided by Rochester Downtown Alliance

On Friday, November 26th, one of the best-loved holiday traditions is back in downtown Rochester: Here Comes Santa Claus! This holiday family favorite has something for everyone: crafts, music, cookies & hot cocoa, trolley rides, tree lighting, and of course, the great Santa Rescue.

This magical evening is full of festive fun, sure to get your family in the holly-jolly spirit. Activities start at 4:00 pm; you won’t want to miss it! All events are FREE!  Have a wonderful time!

4:00 – 6:00 pm: Santa’s Magical Workshop- inside Chateau Theatre

  • Holiday Craft by Neon Green Studio‘s Pop-Up Art Cart
  • Music by the Rochester Symphony, to help make it merry and bright!
  • 5:00 pm Story Time with Mrs. Claus
  • Cookies & Hot Cocoa!
Here Comes Santa Claus
photo provided by Rochester Downtown Alliance

6:00 pm: The Main Event! Santa’s Rescue from atop Old City Hall

  • Help! Santa is stuck on the roof! The Rochester Fire Department saves the day, and helps Santa Claus get safely down from the roof of Old City Hall
  • A very relieved Mrs. Claus and Rochester Mayor Kim Norton will be there to greet Santa when he gets down, and share their holiday cheer.
Here Comes Santa Claus
photo provided by Rochester Downtown Alliance

6:15 – 6:30 pm: Procession to Peace Plaza & Tree Lighting

  • The Rochester Fire Department will transport Santa Claus & Mrs. Claus to the Peace Plaza. Spectators are encouraged to follow the fire truck down 1st Avenue to the festivities in the Peace Plaza.
  • Santa Clause will lead the countdown to the Tree Lighting at 6:30 pm
Here Comes Santa Claus
photo provided by Rochester Downtown Alliance

6:45 – 8:00 pm: Photos with Santa & Caroling – Peace Plaza

  • Socially-distanced photo opportunities with Santa (giant snowglobe, anyone?)
  • Caroling by the Rochester Symphony Chorale
  • Cookies and Hot Cocoa inside the Chateau Theatre

4:00 – 6:00 pm: Trolley Rides

Here Comes Santa Claus
photo provided by Rochester Downtown Alliance

4:00 – 8:00 pm: Altra Federal Credit Union Drive for the Kids

Families helping families is a meaningful way to give back this holiday season

  • Donate new or gently used items that will be given to the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester
  • Requested items: blankets, stuffed animals, art supplies, sports items

COVID-19 Precautions

  • Masks encouraged in indoor venues and in crowded outdoor settings
  • Hand sanitizing stations at each indoor event location
  • Physical distancing highly recommended where possible


Parking is plentiful downtown.  Remember there is no fee for parking after 5 PM.  In addition, all public parking ramps downtown allow you to park for free for two hours.  So if you arrive at 3:00 PM, you still won’t need to pay!  Reference the map below to see where to park (blue blocks) in relation to where Santa will be rescued (Santa icon).

Here Comes Santa Claus

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Kim is a Rochester native who in 2006 unexpectedly found herself back in her hometown, marrying a boy she had once dated as a 15 year-old, and putting down new roots. Kim and husband David have three rambunctious boys born in 2011, 2014 and 2017. Kim works part-time at Mayo Clinic as an Education Program Coordinator, and spends the rest of her time chasing her boys and stepping on legos. She loves to escape the chaos with a run, putzing around in the garden, making guacamole in the kitchen, and enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (not all at once). She is also actively pursuing the world's greatest chocolate chip cookie recipe.