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Mountain Home Magazine

Music, Food, and Love Play On

Jun 01, 2023 09:00AM ● By Karey Solomon

Brian Mastrosimone shares a vision of a sunny future with those who come to celebrate romance, and more, at Lincoln Hill Farms, near the city of Canandaigua. And, as marriages evolve, so his love affair with this land has unfolded over time to become very different from his original expectations.

Formerly a Rochester-based entrepreneur whose enterprises included real estate investments, he’d decided to semi-retire and do a little recreational hunting. The land, previously owned by a man who’d hoped to turn its three charmingly rusted metal silos into an unusual home (the building plans did not meet with official approval), seemed perfect. But just the first day’s hunting convinced Brian the sport was not for him. When he was asked to host a wedding here, he was game for it, in part because he and his wife, Marisa, had celebrated their own wedding in an outdoor venue. He began to see the possibilities of including a bit of everything in one venue that epitomizes what makes the Finger Lakes area special. He’s held true to that original notion, adding new features to the site each year.

“Visionary is what they call me,” he says. He began advertising the location, using the motto “Finger-Lakin’ Good!” That soon drew the ire of a well-known fast-food chain, despite this being a phrase used by several other businesses scattered throughout the region. He opted to stop using the disputed phrase in 2017, right after the success of hosting a celebratory music festival on the grounds. It was too much fun not to continue—easier to come up with a new name.

Today Lincoln Hill Farms (the name was suggested by one of his architects) hosts about sixty weddings each year, as well as a full lineup of summer concerts and special events—often simultaneous with the weddings. The ninety-five-acre spread is large enough for two or more big happenings to coexist without one impinging on another. There’s a semi-permanent 6,000-square-foot wedding tent that can hold 250 guests for dining and dancing. It has a smooth concrete floor, but a wooden dance floor may be added. He employs at least three chefs, plus a full roster of additional helpers, including wedding/event planners, wait staff, and bartenders, to make each occasion run smoothly. Until recently, Brian or Marisa served as bartenders for all the weddings, and he says each one has felt special to him.

Most outdoor weddings happen on a velvety apron of lawn surrounded by fields of sunflowers. They generally take place between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., so that the wedding photos may be taken against the backdrop of a spectacular sunset just past the sunflower fields and pond. But other sites are also available for a ceremony. There are two ponds, a one-acre garden, and a hops field—the hops will be used in a future micro-brewery—and a few spare silos, which can accommodate smaller groups. In August and September, when the sunflowers are in bloom and other flowers are strutting their stuff, the main site is truly spectacular.

Even more spectacular is the food, says Donna Nichols, who books and helps plan weddings and events. “That’s one of the things we’re very well known for. I don’t think anyone generally has a high level of expectation for wedding food, but our food is very, very good,” she says emphatically. Last year the chefs even created an authentic Indian meal for a couple from India. And when the sun has gone down and the tent is lit with long strings of Edison bulbs, the warm light adds to the cozy, happy feeling, she says.

Brian is serious about the “farms” part of the label, so there are grown-on-site herbs and veggies the chefs can incorporate into the menu. Goats and chickens live near the smaller pond and the glamping area, with eleven upscale tents arranged around a firepit. Wedding guests can even schedule a goat meet-and-greet. The glamping section is popular with wedding parties who rent it to continue their festivities with an after-reception bonfire.

The pandemic gave Brian and Marisa firsthand knowledge of the comforts of the glamping tents. Having gone all-in on property improvements, finances were a bit tight. As an outdoor venue, they were able to hold a few smaller events, though many had to be cancelled or rescheduled.

“It was an utter nightmare,” he says now. “We lost everything—our cars, our house—we lived in one of the tents on the farm. In 2021, we worked for free and grew our name.” 2022 was better. In 2021 and 2022, designated Lincoln Hill Farms as one of the best wedding venues in the Finger Lakes. “We want to keep that,” Brian says. “We don’t cut corners.” So, for instance, as they’re waiting for the state to issue permits for a sewer system on the property (the paperwork was filed five years ago), guests have the use of multiple upscale mobile bathroom facilities, stationed near the wedding tent, bridal preparation cabin, glamping, and concert areas.

This year, having attracted the attention of major music representation, they’ve been able to invite and book bigger name acts. They constructed new spaces for the bands to relax offstage, a better stage for performances, and additional food kiosks with crowd-pleasing snacks, meals, and beverages for the audience to enjoy. While there's room for up to 6,000, they aim, Brian says, for fewer, allowing for a more intimate concert experience.

The season at Lincoln Hill Farms runs from mid-May through the end of October. In addition to weddings, concerts, and corporate events, they have regular Sunday family fun days, a Brewfest in early August, an Oktoberfest in mid-September, and at least nine Halloween fests in October. Find Lincoln Hill Farms at 3792 New York Route 427, at, or call (585) 430-4661.

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