ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — Compared to last year’s Lilac Festival, what is the consensus on the opening day of 2022’s?

“I love it,” says Ethan Austin.

“Oh, it feels great, actually. I feel alive again,” says Don Smith.

“It’s really nice, you know it’s nice to see people together,” says Ken DeLand of Clifton Springs.

Tanya Holt works in healthcare and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, says she’s not done much in the past two years. “Just the interaction with people is amazing. To see people smiling and no mask– to see faces is amazing,” she says.

For some, it’s a festival of firsts: “I am at the Lilac Festival trying the brand-new tropical Kolsch, it’s amazing!” says Nicole on the newly released Genesee Beer.

Nicole says this year is a massive upgrade from 2021.”All there were (last year) was just long lines of food, and it’s so good to have the music back. The lineup is insane!”

With the temperature only in the 50s, it was a day too cold for lemonade says vendor Jessica Schaubroeck, squeezing the citrus fruit. But thanks to News 8’s own Eric Snitil and his daily excellent weather forecast — she knows warmer days are coming. 

“It’s going to be busy and crazy like every other Lilac Festival, thousands of people coming and going — it’s going to be fantastic,” says Schaubroeck.

Don’t forget, this festival still has three more weekends to go and people already have plans all set. 

“The beer and the food,” says Catherine Scott.

“The games! The rides!” says Layla Mason.

“Probably coming back out here in the next couple of days,” says Christian.

The 124th Lilac Festival runs on select days until May 22:

  • Week One: May 6-8
  • Week Two: May 12-15
  • Week Three: May 19-22