ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The annual Lilac Festival has ended after three straight weekends.

The weather wasn’t the best Sunday to be outside at a festival in the park, but that didn’t stop thousands of people and vendors from coming out, bringing tourism to Rochester for this time of the year back to life.  

According to Rochester Events, the festival drew about 650,000 visitors this year.

Despite being the last day, this was the first time Monique Turner, and her family could make it out to the Lilac Festival. She felt this year was more notable for her kids to enjoy with everything back open.  

“I’m very excited because we need this as a community,” Turner said. “Just to be able to be around each other and get together to have a good time and just be happy.”  

Instead of 10 straight days, organizers of the festival choose to split the event into three straight weekends. A tactic they believe was successful in getting a bigger turnout for vendors and LIVE concerts.  

“My biggest feeling is the sense of community having everyone here shoulder to shoulder listening to music and enjoying the food,” Rochester Events Communications Director Jenny Lomaglio said. “Hearing laughter and conversations with the kids. Everybody just coming together it’s been a wonderful feeling.”  

Those positive outlooks carried over to local and out-of-town vendors who took advantage of the big crowds returning to boost their sales and show festival-goers how their products make the Lilac Festival unique.  

“Business has been amazing,” Kelly Smith of Highland Lilac of Rochester said. “Everyone is excited to be out. Everything is selling out, which is awesome. I love the three weekends so I can’t complain.”  

A Rochester Events spokesperson said there were no large fights or police reports filed at the 2022 festival. Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said it was a good sign.

“We didn’t get any of those reports this year,” he said. “I was very very happy about that and I think that should portend good things for all of the other festivals that we have coming up.”

Organizers with the Lilac Festival and Rochester Events plan to continue the three separate weekend scheduling next year. Believing this approach will give more people time to come out and take in all they have to offer.