Updated: 05/10/2014 12:46 AM
Created: 05/09/2014 8:20 PM WHEC.com
By: Rebecca Fath
It is one of Rochester’s most popular festivals. The Lilac Festival is officially open for 2014.
There are some changes at this year’s festival. In light of disturbances last year, there are now designated entry points at the festival. If you are carrying a bag, it may be checked.
But some things never change at the Lilac Festival, like having fun with your family. Jessica East and her son, Gabriel, feel secure as they enjoy a picnic opening day.
Jessica East said, “I haven't ever had any concerns, we always feel pretty safe."
Now they’ll be even more protected because festival representatives say they’ve beefed up security.
Don Jeffries, Lilac Festival organizer, said, “There are no issues. This is a family event, it's a free event and when people see the amount of patrols, the city police department, the sheriff’s, our folks, they feel safe.”
East said, “I wouldn't object to the extra security if it came to it. Just things have been happening lately in public places and I would never want anything to happen around me, my friends, my son.”
Security guards are now checking IDs at the gate and giving bracelets to those who can drink alcohol. Now, people with a glass of wine or beer can walk around the entire festival area
Jeffries said, “Before there were fences that kind of cut off people, but now it's wide open.”
Also new, there are now specific entranceways and exits, allowing for more crowd control.
Jeffries said, “We just wanted an entrance and an exit so people knew where they come in. A lot of times we get questions where do we come in, now we have it there.”
Pets are not allowed at the festival this year.
For more information on parking and other festival information, click here.