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SPECIAL EVENT | Greentopia Fall Festival 

Greentopia's Fall Festival will return for its fourth year, this weekend, though in a slightly different format from previous years. Rather than a week-long event, the Fall Festival will take place Friday, September 12, and Saturday, September 13, with the film festival portion moving to the spring (March 17-21, 2015). The Fall Festival takes place in High Falls along Browns Race, from Platt Street to Commercial Street.

Since Greentopia, a non-profit, provides programming year-round, "certain aspects of the Fall Festival were so popular, that it made sense to showcase them outside of the Fall Festival timeframe and so we will host some of them now throughout the year," says Michael Philipson, President of the Philipson Group and Co-Founder of Friends of the GardenAerial. "By moving the Film Festival to the spring 2015, we can now highlight and expand aspects like music, design, art, and food in a more focused way at this year's Festival."

Greentopia is divided into three sections: Design, Music, and the Ecofest. On Friday, September 12, the festival will host the "From The Ground" Fashion Show, featuring works by Shawn Dunwoody and Athi Georgiou created from up-cycled and re-purposed materials. The show takes place 6 to 9 p.m. inside the High Falls Garage at Mill and Commercial Streets. Also part of the festival's design aspect, "From the Gorge," a photography exhibit featuring works from seven local photographers, will open Friday and run through Saturday.

On Saturday, September 13, Greentopia will present The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester; Eastman Saxophone Project; Rochester Lyric Opera, Village Idiots; Jeff Campbell's Jazz All-Stars; Sankofa African Drum and Dance Ensemble; The Drum Circle From Genesee Valley Park; and other musical offerings. The Sound ExChange Project will perform three new pieces in conjunction with the Gorge Wall Video Projection, a large display of Rochester selfies (to submit your shot, use #greenrocselfies on Instagram). Saturday evening will find fire performances from A Different Spin, and a live painting exhibition from artist Mark Groaning.

The Ecofest will feature 50 vendors and exhibitors demonstrating green living tips and selling eco-friendly items. A new event, Artisanal Roc, will highlight local food, wine, artisans, and chefs at the Centers at High Falls (1 to 6 p.m.). Returning this year is the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Auto Show, hosting a dozen alternative fuel vehicles, and offering test-drives on select vehicles.

Greentopia's Fall Festival is free — except for the "From the Ground" Fashion Show" and the Artisanal Food and Drink Expo. For more information, times, and ticket prices to special events, visit

EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been edited to correct the number of vendors and exhibitors participating in the Ecofest. There will be 50 participants.

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