Festival Season Has Begun!

Rochesterians celebrate the end of winter hibernation by throwing festivals, gatherings and events during the warmer months.  This weekend marked the first and perhaps most iconic Rochester festival of the season –Lilac Festival in Highland Park (just down the road from the University).  Lilac Festival began unofficially in 1898 after a spontaneous gathering of thousands came to Highland Park to see the magnificent purple blooms, where several thousand lilac bushes had been planted almost a decade earlier.  The event formalized in 1901 and now attracts over 500,000 people.

These days, Lilac Festival isn’t just about admiring the beauty of its namesake shrub and other flowering trees in Highland Park like magnolias and fruit trees, but also a full blown music festival.  This year there are 64 shows scheduled.  You can find the full line up here as well as other goings on during the festival.

Here is a list of other festivals and events to catch this summer – check out the Rochester City Newspaper’s Festival Guide for more information.

  1. Now-May 17: Lilac Festival Highland Park
  2. May 14-16: Low Bridge, High Water Village of Brockport
  3. May 22-25: ROC City Ribfest Genessee Valley Park*
  4. May 28-31: Greek Festival Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (East Ave)
  5. June 5-7: Fairport Canal Days Village of Fairport
  6. June 7: 19th Ward Square Fair Abderdeen Square Park
  7. June 12-21: Rochester Real Beer Week Various Locations in Rochester
  8. June 12-14: Maplewood Rose Celebration Maplewood Park
  9. June 13-August 1: Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival Various Locations in the Finger Lakes
  10. June 19-27: Rochester International Jazz Festival Various Locations in the East End
  11. July 3: Day of Remembrance Durand Eastman Park
  12. July4: Independence Day Various Locations will have fireworks
  13. July 4-August 16: Sterling Renaissance Festival Sterling, NY
  14. July 10-12: Finger Lakes Wine Festival Watkins Glen, NY
  15. July 11-12: Corn Hill Arts Festival Corn Hill
  16. July 17-19: Rochester PRIDE Various Locations in Rochester
  17. July 16-26: Canandaigua Lake Music Festival Various Locations in Canandaigua
  18. July 17-19: Canandaigua Art & Music Festival Downtown Canandaigua
  19. July 17-19: Macedonian Festival Dimitria Macedonian Orthodox Church
  20. July 18-19: Hopsfest Bloomfield, NY
  21. July 25-26: Native American Dance and Music Festival Ganondagan Historic Site
  22. July 25-26: Spencerport Canal Days Village of Spencerport
  23. July 25-26: Waterfront Art Festival Canandaigua Waterfront
  24. August 1: Lima Crossroads Festival Lima, NY
  25. August 1-2: Park Ave Summer Art Festival Park Ave
  26. August 1: B.O.V.E African American Festival Highland Bowl
  27. August 5-8: Pageant of Steam Canandaigua
  28. August 8: Carifest Brown Square Park
  29. August 8: Avon Rotary Corn Festival Avon High School
  30. August 8-9: Finger Lakes Riesling Festival New York Wine & Culinary Center, Canandaigua
  31. August 15: Lockapalooza Erie Canal Lock 32
  32. August 21-23: Puerto Rican Festival Frontier Field
  33. August 27-29: Sankofa Theater Festival MuCCC
  34. August 2-September 7: Great New York State Fair Syracuse, NY
  35. September 4-7: New York State Festival of Balloons Dansville Municipal Airport
  36. September 12-13: Macedon Lumberjack Festival Macedon Fireman’s Field
  37. September 12-13: Clothesline Arts Festival Memorial Art Gallery
  38. September 17-26: Rochester Fringe Festival Various Locations in Rochester

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