Rochester, N.Y. -- The Rochester Friendship Festival hockey event returns to Rochester and the Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex Saturday, April 2 – Sunday, April 3, 2022.

The Rochester Friendship Festival is a hockey festival for numerous teams comprised of, and for, individuals with developmental disabilities.  Teams will be traveling to Rochester from Canada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

This event is held in Rochester because the community is home to the Rochester Ice Cats, a member of the American Special Hockey Association. The team’s mission specializes in providing training in the game of ice hockey for individuals with developmental disabilities.

The Rochester Ice Cats / Rochester Special Hockey organization is comprised of players of all ages who enjoy learning the game of hockey. The team is geared to individual needs with an emphasis on sportsmanship and learning to interact with others.

For the athletes that participate in the Rochester Friendship Festival, the sport has allowed many players to achieve their dreams of playing a game that many of their siblings, friends and pro players participate in.

This Festival is a way to bring many players together from various parts of the U.S. and Canada together to enjoy the game of hockey, camaraderie and friendship.

More than 350 players, coaches and fans are expected to visit Rochester for this weekend’s event. Visit Rochester is helping to welcome visiting athletes through welcome signage, assistance with hotel rooms and event space, meals and connecting the Festival with local sports mascots for the Team Spirit Party.   

Sporting events like the Rochester Friendship Festival play a significant part in the overall economic impact of the tourism and hospitality industry in Monroe County. Prior to the pandemic, the economic impact of tourism in Monroe County exceeded $1 billion annually, and was responsible for 20,000 jobs.

Visit Rochester is the official tourism promotion agency for Greater Rochester and Monroe County. Visit Rochester is a membership organization with over 400 members representing, lodging, retail, restaurants, services, and community organizations. Working together with our members and partners, our mission is to sell and market Greater Rochester as a preferred destination in order to grow and maximize visitor spending and to enhance the economy. The economic impact of the tourism and hospitality industry in Monroe County is more than $1 Billion, and supports nearly 20,000 jobs. To learn more go to