Rochester, New York has been nicknamed the “Lilac Capital of the World”, one visit to the annual Lilac Festival and you’ll understand why.
Rochester is lovely in the spring. Perhaps nowhere, at this time is she lovelier than in Highland Park, where as April transitions to May, the park morphs from rolling green hills to the grand stage for the famous fragrant lilac bush displays.
Established by mere coincidence in 1898, when 3,000 people turned up at Highland Park to view the picturesque assortment of lavender, rose and cream colored lilacs; Rochester’s Lilac Festival is a source of city pride and tradition.
What began in 1892, as a showcase of 20 varieties of lilac bushes arranged by horticulturist John Dunbar, has grown into an internationally renowned spectacle paying reverence to no less than 500 lilac varieties. Lilac loving visitors flock to Rochester crossing cities, states and continents, to experience the beauty of Highland Park’s famous lilacs first-hand.
In addition to lilacs, you’ll find music, entertainment, child-friendly activities, horse carriage rides through the park, food, lilac wine tasting events, lilac soaps, perfumes and other lilac inspired products.
If you want to be swept up in the romance of the spring season, Rochester’s Lilac Festival is the destination for you.