The Lilac festival brings in millions of dollars to the local economy. However, one local business owner says it also brings in criminals.
The Artful Gardner is a small specialty shop down the street from Highland Park. Owner Jean Westcott creates garden sculptures. Westcott tells News 8, for years she thought her location near the Lilac Festival would be great for business. She says she was wrong.
“I wish I could just close up shop. I can’t afford to, but I wish I could close up for those ten days,” Westcott said.
This past weekend Westcott posted on Facebook that she became a victim of vandalism.
“This year was the worst. They kicked in the front door and broke the glass of my shop door,” said Westcott.
Monroe County and the event organizing committee hosts a meeting with neighbors, stake holders and businesses prior to the festival which was held on May 2nd this year.
The County also works with the Rochester Police to patrol surrounding neighborhoods.
Police say they will follow up with Westcott following a festival debrief.