Rochester’s Big Bright Light Show!

23 Dec

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For the last six years the city of Rochester has been putting on an extraordinary light show from Thanksgiving weekend until January 1st.  You’re probably picturing a typical Main Street scene with old-fashioned light posts wrapped in garlands, holiday wreaths and those lighted plastic outlines of figures, well stop right there, this is no typical Main Street display!!

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Every year Kris and I get to downtown Rochester at least a couple of times to see the lights. For block after block illuminated buildings line Main Street as cars drive up and down from just south of the bridge on Rochester Rd to Romeo Rd. Oddly enough parking is never too hard, and I prefer walking the sidewalk and peeking in shop windows over simply driving by. The first time I saw it I was mesmerized; I felt like Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz when she went from the black and white of her house into the Technicolor of Munchkin land. Remember years ago when Warren Beatty made the Dick Tracy movie using all of the comic  strip colors? That’s sort of what it’s like.  Each building is covered from top to bottom in LED lights, each one is a different color, most are solid colors but a few buildings are the multi-color.  It’s quite a sight; red, yellow and purple colored shops, the blue gives off an interesting glow, orange, green and multi color, all are beautiful and festive. Stand in place and take in the street scape, I feel as though I am in a make-believe world. The city of Rochester website claims they have over 1.5 million lights, I believe it.

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After we walked a little bit we stopped in at Sumo Sushi for dinner. There are very few places outside of Detroit that we eat at; Sumo is one of our favorites, their sushi is excellent! We start off with a house salad, crisp chunks of iceberg lettuce topped with carrots, cucumbers, and ginger dressing. Next up is the Age Dage Tofu; cubes of tofu with a crunchy coating deep-fried and sitting in a bowl of tempura, so good. If you’d like to try tofu, this is a good dish to start with. Our sushi arrived looking appetizing and pretty. Spicy California roll, Cucumber and Avocado Roll and a Veggie Heaven, this one is uniquely tasty; a tempura roll of mushroom and avocado sitting on a bed of ginger sauce, topped with sweet soy and spicy mayo, a vegetarian’s dream come true. We have liked every roll we ever tried here, everything is super fresh. The wait staff is generally made up of enthusiastic 20-somethings that are friendly and attentive.

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The street was less crowded after we ate, better for taking pictures. Again we walked up and down Main, this time at a more leisurely pace. Store front windows have gorgeous displays of Christmas trees, Poinsettia,  sparkling ornaments, and darling little elves. Merchandise is arranged in eye-catching arrangements making me wish the store was still open so I could wander inside.  The Big Bright Light Show continues down 4th Street from Walnut to Water, corner buildings are decorated on two sides. The lights come on at 6pm, they turn them off at midnight. From Christmas eve through Christmas day they will be lit 24 hours.  There are plenty of restaurants lining the street, and you can grab a coffee or hot chocolate at Bean & Leaf to keep you warm as you look around. Come on out to Rochester for a magical light-filled evening.

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