Lilac Festival poster, lineup for 2022 unveiled

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Lilac Festival organizers unveiled the 2022 poster on Wednesday. A local artist and portrait painter, Diane Elmslie, created the poster artwork with watercolors to represent the abstract patterns of Rochester’s lilac blooms.

The festival is one month away. The organizers also announced that Pittsford native and Olympic gold medalist Chris Lillis will serve as grand marshal for the Lilac Parade.

The festival typically draws tens of thousands of people to Highland Park. There will be plenty of food and vendors and live music is back. The Lilac Festival will run for three weekends in May, starting on May 7 and organizers promise the lilacs will be in full bloom for the first day.

Monroe County Superintendent of Horticulture Mark Quinn said if you go out to Highland Park, you’ll notice the lilac bushes looking a little bare, but he says don’t worry.

"If you go out right now, the budget swelling, you see a little bit of color in the actual up, the lilac blooms," Quinn said. "So you can see they’re just starting to pop out a little bit. Looking at the long-term weather, it looks like it’s very positive. So I think we’re in really good shape right now."

The festival is back for its full-scale version after a two-year hiatus and will feature marching bands, dancers, costumed characters and celebrating Monroe County’s bicentennial.

"Saturday of course, is parade day," said organizer Jeff Springut. "Ed Schram couldn’t be here today. Puts on an amazing parade. There’s over 125 units in the parade. There’s over 2,500 people participating in the parade."

The events include the wine tasting expo, Art in the Park, Garden Battles, the health and wellness experience, Seniors’ Day and the Craft Beer Expo and 5k and 10k Race.

"All of that together with the great food and of course, the real stars of the festival, are the lilacs or give us great cause to celebrate more in Rochester in Monroe County this year," Springut said.

Admission is free. Click here for more information about the parade.