The 2015 Lilac Festival poster, by artist Diane Elmslie.
Calling it the "granddaddy" of Rochester's jam-packed festival lineup, city and county officials today announced an expanded Lilac Festival for 2015
. The 117th edition of the festival runs from May 8 through May 17 at Highland Park.
The festival's footprint expands this year to include Reservoir Avenue. Also new will be a home and garden show, wine and chocolate tasting, and brew fest all held under a big top located along South Avenue at Highland Avenue.
Rochester's first Lilac Festival was in 1898 and since that time, the county's collection has grown to more than 1,200 bushes and over 500 varieties of lilacs, according to Larry Staub, parks director for Monroe County. The annual festival brings more than $3 million into the local economy, said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks at today's press conference.
The state of the lilacs is a question mark every year — whether they will be in bloom during the festival. Mark Quinn, county parks' superintendent of horticulture, said that it's too early to tell if the lilacs will cooperate, but that the bushes could do with a little more sunshine.
"Knock on wood, we'll get some good weather to push them along," he said.
The music lineup
for the 2015 Lilac Festival was announced last week.