The Rochester Lilac Festival is the largest free festival of its kind in North America. The more than 500,000 visitors who attend the festival each year not only get to experience over 500 varieties of lilacs and all the natural beauty of Highland Park, but also live music, incredible food, drinks, and fun for the entire family. Here are some things you won't want to miss at the Rochester Lilac Festival from May 10 to 19, 2024.



The Lilac Parade has more than 2,000 participants, including marching bands, dancers, costumed characters, and the special vehicles including the popular Damascus mini cars. The memorable parade day is one of the most special times at the Rochester Lilac Festival.

ART IN THE PARK - MAY 11-12 & 18-19

Art in the Park takes place along Reservoir Avenue, a shaded street adjacent to the lilac gardens and the main festival site on May 11, 12, 18 and 19. Spend each festival weekend shopping with more than 100 artists, makers, designers, and craftspeople to discover unique pieces from across a variety of media including ceramics, drawings, graphics, fiber, glass, jewelry, sculpture, wood and mixed media along with specialty packaged foods and body care products. Don’t forget to pick up official festival merchandise, like the official 2024 Rochester Lilac Festival Poster!


The Rochester Lilac Festival is a family event full of fun activities for visitors of all ages. The Kids' Zone especially is a family favorite every year. Open every day of the festival, there are many activities for the little ones, from the zipline, bounce houses, rides, midway games, and more!


New this year, the Rochester Lilac Festival is partnering with AutismUp to create a free experience for festival visitors - a large tent and outdoor area that will act as the Festival’s official Sensory Space. The Sensory Space will be located within park grounds near the Elmwood entrance point, away from the music and busy common areas. The tent space will include soft lighting and activities like coloring books, music, books, comfortable seating, fidgets, noise canceling headphones, and other items that aid in regulation. AutismUp staff and volunteers will be on-hand during Festival hours to support visitors.


There are countless locations to find a variety of yummy festival foods at the Lilac Festival, along with additional snack vendors throughout the festival. Visitors won’t want to miss the chance to taste local and regional favorites such as Abbott’s Frozen Custard, and various versions of trash plates. Rochester food trucks bring exciting new taste combinations. 2024 vendors include Macarollin, Wraps on Wheels, Effortlessly Healthy and Le Petit Poutine's freshly made fries covered in cheese curds and gravy. And don't miss out on festival classics, including Candy Apples, CinnaRoasted Almonds, Cotton Candy, Deep Fried Candy Bars & Oreos, Fried Dough, Funnel Cakes, Kettle Korn, and Soft Pretzels.


There are over 500 varieties of lilacs at Highland Park in Rochester, NY. Each has a unique color and look, and they all smell amazing. The fragrance wafting through the park is heavenly. Bring your camera for incredible up close pictures of these gorgeous flowers, as the Lilac Festival is a top spot for Instagram photos. More than just lilacs, visitors will also enjoy tulips, the pansy bed, and the Lamberton Conservatory, featuring plants from all over the world.


Rochester Lilac Festival has a wide variety of free concerts during the 10 day Festival. Visitors are sure to find something the whole family can enjoy. Major performances at this year’s event include: Rayland Baxter, Butcher Brown, Ghost-Note, Pachyman, Big Voodoo Daddy, The Skycoasters, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Dopapod, and Trousdale.


More than 3,000 runners from across the region take to Highland Park every spring for the annual Lilac Run, an annual Lilac Festival tradition. Participants can choose to run a 5K, 10K, or the Dunkin’ Dash – a  fun half mile sprint down Highland Avenue to eat Munchkins™ and then dash back to the start. You can register for the races here.


New this year, the Rochester Red Wings and the Rochester Lilac Festival have partnered on lilac-inspired merchandise. From May 14 to May 19, the Red Wings will don Lilac Festival inspired uniforms during their games, coinciding with the Lilac Festival running from May 10 to May 19. This iconic collaboration is aimed at honoring the rich, storied history of Rochester while also showcasing the exciting innovation the city is cultivating. View the items in the Lilac Collection here, and purchase Red Wings tickets here


For more information on the Rochester Lilac Festival visit the official festival website. And, don't forget to share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using #VisitROC and #LilacFest!