ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The annual Lilac Festival in Rochester is just over three weeks away, and given the drastic temperature swings we’ve experienced over the past month, it’s time to assess how the lilacs are currently shaping up for the upcoming festival. 

Between the months of April and June, Highland Park slowly becomes covered in beautiful Lilac flowers with average peak bloom occurring in mid-May.

Because of the longer duration of the Lilac festival this year with three full weekends to attend instead of two, there’s a better chance the lilacs will be at peak during one of those weekends.

Given the abundance of warmth these past few days, Superintendent of Horticulture for Monroe County Parks Mark Quinn says the Lilacs are in really great shape.

“Now the Lilacs are a little bit later so their buds are pushing. You can actually see a little bit of color on them… I’m very confident that the bloom will be good, and sometime during the festival,” Quinn said. 

Lilacs are generally pretty hardy flowers. They’re used to large temperature swings that come with early spring. Now while they don’t mind the rain the question is how well do they do in the cold and the snow?

“One thing about Lilacs is that they’re really tough plants, so they really can take this weather,” Quinn said. “This is spring in Rochester you’re gonna get 70 degrees one day and 35 degrees two days later and that’s the way we are here, and the Lilacs have adapted to that environment… I really don’t have any particular concern that the Lilacs will be negatively affected by the cold.”

Even with the brief cold arriving this weekend, Mark says that right now is a still beautiful time to visit the parks.

“Highland Park is beautiful in the spring and the Magnolias are already blooming,” Quinn said. “The bulbs are terrific out there, the hamamelis are out there blooming, so come during the festival but come during other times as well. The parks are really looking very nice right now.”

Rain, snow or shine both the flowers and the people of WNY know how to adapt one way or another. Reporting in Rochester, I’m Meteorologist Christine Gregory. 

The Lilac Festival begins on May 6th this year and will run for three weekends during the month of May.