ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester is just a few weeks away from a revamped, COVID-conscious Lilac Festival, set to take place across three weekends in May.
The Highland Park festival, which is implementing a slew of COVID precautions, marks a major step toward the Pre-March 2020 life Rochester has long awaited.
“There’s no question that the festival itself is reimagined and somewhat abbreviated this year,” said Jeff Springut, producer for the Lilac Festival, “and what we’re doing, for obvious reasons, has to have public safety in mind.”
Among the festival’s COVID-preventatives changes, Springut notes: masking, limited capacity, and 9-foot social distancing between tables in certain sections of the festival.
“Tickets are going swiftly,” Springut said. “It’s been a while since people had the chance to go out in a safe environment.”
Within the last several weeks, the region is seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases, which, health officials say, is linked to the presence of variants.
“This variant is much more contagious,” Dr. Michael Mendoza, the Monroe County Health Commissioner, noted Thursday at a news briefing. “We do not know that is necessarily more lethal, but we know it is more contagious and that’s, in my view, the reason that we are seeing this increases in our numbers.”
With the uptick in cases, an uptick in vaccinations. Over 40 percent of Monroe County has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine – roughly 200,000 residents.
Springut told News 8 management is watching the numbers each day, and hopes the cases go down come May.