Lilac Festival Rochester NY

The Lilac Festival at Highland Park is a great way to celebrate after such a long winter here in Rochester, NY.  Every Spring approximately 500 types of lilacs come into bloom.  While the lilacs are the main attraction there are many other beautiful flowers to see such as cherry blossoms, tulips, magnolias and daffodils.  (Download the map of Highland Park HERE which shows where the flowers are.)

The Lilac Festival is held for 10 days early in May every year.  After touring the lilacs in the park there are many vendors to see.  Some sell lilac souvenirs (lilac plants, posters, soap, magnets, postcards, teddybears etc.), others offer pony rides, there are quite a few craft booths and festival foods like Greek gyro sandwiches, Italian cannolis, deep fried anything (pickles, oreos, bologna - yes that's right!, funnel cakes), custard style ice cream etc.  On the Lilac Stage there are a variety of music artists who come to entertain.  This year Joan Osborne, Third World, David Bromberg, Lisa Dotolo and Little Feat are among the entertainers.

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It's a great place to bring children as there are lots of activities for kids too.  Game booths, magic shows, slides, bouncy house, train rides, pony rides and a lot more...

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Future dates for the Lilac Festival are:
2012, May 11-20
2013, May 10-19
2014, May 9-18
2015, May 8-17
2016, May 13-22
2017, May 12-21
2018, May 11-20
2019, May 10-19
2020, May 8-17

I wouldn't plan too far in advance to attend the festival as Spring weather in Rochester usually means a lot of rain.  We had record breaking rainfall this year so the festival was canceled for two days.

Prior to this weekend I have only seen lilacs in pictures.  They are quite fragrant (the scent is much stronger at dusk) and beautiful.  Here are some of the pictures I took of the lilacs.  They somehow remind me of the plumerias I see back home in Hawaii. 


  1. Thanks for the info. I am considering a road trip to visit Rochester and the Lilac Festival in 2012.

  2. You're welcome! The whole city of Rochester seems to bloom with lilacs. Spring is quite beautiful here.


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