Lilac Festival named in ‘Top 10 Flower Festivals’ list by Oprah Magazine

Lilac Festival

(News 8 WROC Photo/Matt Driffill)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Lilac Festival has been named one of the top 10 Flower Festivals in the country, according to Oprah Magazine.

Our local event came in at No. 3 on the list.

“Highland Park is home to the largest collection of lilacs in North America, according to their website. In 2020, you can celebrate spring in Upstate New York from May 8-17 to stare in awe at the 1,200 lilac bushes and 500 more varieties of lilacs,” the article said.

The annual event is one of our city’s biggest festivals and the unofficial start of summer in Rochester — and although it’s still the middle of winter, Lilac Festival organizers already have us thinking spring.

Officials announced the first headliner for this year’s event — Blues Traveler.

Normally, Lilac Festival organizers announce the music lineup all at once in late winter, but producer Jeff Springut said he couldn’t wait to release this news.

“With a band as legendary as Blues Traveler, we just couldn’t resist telling all of their fans that they would be able to see them at the Lilac Fest! It was the perfect time to give out a spring teaser!” Springut said in a press release.

Blues Traveler will headline a day of music on Tuesday, May 12. As always, the Lilac Festival will remain free to attend, but there are ticketed upgrades available for the VIP Ultra Lounge and the High Spot Party Deck. VIP tickets are available for purchase online.

Festival officials say the remaining nine headliners will be announced in March.

The 2020 Lilac Festival, Rochester’s unofficial start to summer, will take place from May 8 through May 17.

In November, Lilac Fest organizers announced a new family-friendly attraction for the event. The Great DeUbois, a circus show for all ages, will be at Highland Park for the festivities on Wednesday, May 13. The duo is known for the Tony Award-winning “pippin” on Broadway and have appeared on several late-night talk shows and concert tours with their juggling, hula hoops, unicycles, aerial skills, circus stunts, contortion, magic, and more.

Of course the main attraction at Lilac is the lilacs, and those are a long way away from blooming, but check back with News 8 WROC for updates on the flowers, musical lineup announcements, and more as we get closer to May.

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