The Rochester Lilac Festival is best known for its beautiful flowers spread throughout the park. One of the most notable sights is the collection of pansies, designed in a new position each year, making it a tradition to come see.
Fun, family and flowers are coming back to Rochester for the 121st anniversary of the Rochester Lilac Festival.
What to expect at the Rochester Lilac Festival
The 121st edition of the Rochester Lilac Festival is coming back to Highland Park this year. From May 10th to 19th, the largest free festival of its kind in North America will feature ten days and nights of continuous festivities for guests. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. every day, the festival offers gardens, music, exhibits and events. An ideal spring weekend getaway, this festival is beautiful and fun! Thousands of people come to see the displays of colorful blooms as well as participate in various activities such as a wine tasting expo, craft beer tasting expo, music performance and the 5K Lilac Run.
The Rochester Lilac Festival is best known for its beautiful flowers spread throughout the park. One of the most notable sights is the collection of pansies, designed in a new position each year, making it a tradition to come see. Another garden to see is over 500 varieties of lilacs on 1,200 plants. Across from it sits the Pinetum, a collection of 300 species of varieties of conifers from around the world. Gardens also include Japanese maple flowers, magnolias, tree peonies, and more. Also featured is the colorful Tulip Garden. The newly renovated Lamberton Conservatory provides simulated environments, such as tropical and desert, to preserve flowers that require specific climates.
Flowers are not the only thing offered by the festival! The ten-day event will feature several activities for people of all ages to participate in. Annual events occur such as the Lilac Parade and Lilac Run throughout the gardens. The festival also provides national touring acts and rising stars for musical entertainment throughout the week. Activities will also include Garden Battles, a comedy show, and the festival’s Craft Beer and Wine Tasting Expos. Family events include magicians, singers, mini roller coasters and more. With different artists performing each day, some acts include Cory Wong, Maceo Parker, Big Something, a Zac Brown Tribute band, and more. During the Garden Battles, visitors will be able to watch as contestants battle to create the best garden. The Rochester Lilac Festival’s also includes art displays. Participants who enjoy art have the option to submit their artwork and display their pieces at the festival.
The Rochester Lilac Festival is free for all to attend, but has some special ticketed experiences throughout the weekend.
The Wine Tasting Expo requires a ticket for admission. There are two sessions offered on Saturday, General Admission tickets are $15 ahead of time and $22 at the gate, VIP Advanced tickets are $25 prior and $32 at the gate, and the Designated Driver tickets are $5 ahead of time and at the gate. VIP Advanced tickets include an extra hour of tasting. The first session runs from 12:00pm-4:00pm, the first hour depending on the ticket, and the second session runs from 4:30pm-8:30pm, the first hour depending on the ticket.
The Craft Beer Expo also requires a ticket for admission. There are two session on Saturday, May 18. The General Admission Advanced tickets are $35 ahead of time and $42 at the gate, the VIP Advanced tickets are $50 prior and $57 at the gate, and the Designated Driver tickets are $10 ahead of time and at the gate. The first session runs from 12:00pm-4:00pm, the first hour depending on the ticket, and the second session runs from 4:30pm-8:30pm, the first hour depending on the ticket.
The Bloody Mary Expo is a ticketed experience only offered on Sunday, May 19. The General Admission tickets are $35 ahead of time and $42 at the gate. The Designated Driver tickets are $10 ahead of time and at the gate. The hours are 12:00pm-3:00pm.
Tickets for all events are available on the festival website.
Take Amtrak to the Rochester Lilac Festival
10 (Friday) 10:30 am - 19 (Sunday) 8:30 pm
180 Reservoir Ave, Rochester, NY 14620