The lilacs will be blooming in Rochester's Highland Park this May as the Rochester Lilac Festival returns in a reimagined format after a hiatus last year. While the 2021 festival will look a bit different, attendees and event participants will still be able to enjoy some festival favorites in a fun and safe way with COVID-precautions in place.
We've pulled together the following "Know Before You Go" information on the 2021 Rochester Lilac Festival so that you have the best experience for the reimagined event. This event will follow all safety guidelines set forth by New York State and Monroe County including a mask mandate, social distancing protocols, and providing sanitization stations in all festival areas.
This year's festival will be weekends-only, running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
NEW Lilac Mini Farmer's Market
Festival attendees will be able to buy fresh flowers from Bar Fiorella, Lilac Hill wine from Casa Larga Vineyards, favorite products from Highland Lilac Perfume and official Lilac Festival merchandise, including the 2021 poster and t-shirts. This market will be stocked with all things lilac and is free to attend.
Art in the Park
Reservoir Avenue will be lined with talented artisans and their art during this annual outdoor arts and craft show. It will take place all three Saturdays (10:30-6:00) and Sunday (10:30-5:00) of the festival with "Entry" and "Exits" monitored with a timed system to control capacity. Masks are required upon entry.
Craft Beer Expo
Craft beer enthusiasts will be able to enjoy this favorite festival event as seated tasting sessions that include food pairings from local eateries on May 8 and May 9. The ticketed tasting sessions are from 11:30-1:45, 2:45 to 5:00, and 6:00-8:30. Tickets are required to purchase a table of four or six for this sit-down experience. Tickets are available for purchase here starting on Tuesday, April 6.
Wine Tasting Expo - SOLD OUT
Wine lovers will also be able to enjoy this festival favorite as a ticketed, seated event with the option to buy a table for two, four, or six. The event will include wine samples and food pairings. The ticketed tasting sessions will happening from 2:45-5:00 and 6:00-8:30 on May 8 and May 9, as well as from 12:30-2:45 and 3:45-6 on May 16.
The Lilac Run 5K & 10K
We will see you at the finish line on May 23! This year's race is back, just in a NEW location, Genesee Valley Park. This in-person race will follow a wave format as well as a virtual option to ensure the comfort and safety of all runners. Register for The Lilac Run 5K & 10K here.
The Dunkin' Dash
Back by popular demand the dash is happening on May 23 at Genesee Valley Park! Run, walk or even skip to the Dunkin’ Pit Stop to receive a voucher for 10 Munchkins and back for a total of 1 mile. Register for The Dunkin' Dash here.
NEW Lilac Bistro
Relax in a large, open-air tent while you sip your favorite drink, sample some amazing food from local restaurants and listen to regional music live and on-stage. All patrons will enjoy a seated ‘supper-club’ format style session with your table of 4 or 6 people that are 9 feet apart. This is a 21+ only event with valid ID required. Sessions are happening at 4:00 and 6:45 with tickets only valid for one session. Tickets are available for purchase here starting on Tuesday, April 6.
2021 Entertainment Schedule
Big Blue House
Mikaela Davis & Southern Star
Big Eyed Phish’s: Dave and Tim Acoustic Show
ROC'N For Champion
Lilac Blues & Soul Review
Family-Friendly Amusement Rides + Kid Zone
There will be family-friendly amusement park rides within a designated area of Highland Park and the festival grounds for kids to enjoy open-air fun during all festival days. Tickets will be available for purchase for kids to ride on the kiddie coaster and other fun.
Kid Zone Hours of Operation:
May 7-9, 2021
May 14-16, 2021
May 21-23, 2021
10:30am – 7:00pm
Don't miss out on the STAR OF THE SHOW - the lilacs! Explore lilacs, pansies, tulips, and more that are in and around Monroe County's Highland Park. Learn more about the history of the park, festival, and gardens here.
For the latest information on the 2021 Rochester Lilac Festival, please visit RochesterEvents.com/lilac-festival.