Event organizers introduce new program for 125th Rochester Lilac Festival

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. You can sing, dance, eat and, now, give at this year’s 125th Rochester Lilac Festival.

To honor this anniversary, Lilac Festival producers are celebrating all of their sponsors’ support of the event in a new way.

“We asked them to share the local charities that mean the most to them,” Rochester Lilac Festival Director of Communications Jenny LoMaglio said. “Some of which include Children Awaiting Parents, Open Door Mission, Farmer 490, Lollypop Farm and many others.”

LoMaglio saw an opportunity to give back through the festival, so they started Partners with a Purpose.

“We’ve created a Giving Garden on festival grounds where visitors can participate in building a community-generated art installation,” LaMaglio said.

“It’s kind of like constantly paying it forward,” Rochester Lilac Festival Producer Jeff Springut said.

At this Giving Garden, you can donate any amount and in return, you will get a flower to add to a giant archway, creating a big photo opportunity. All of the money raised by this program will be split up among the festival’s sponsors and then given to their chosen charities.

“It’s a real good feel-good thing,” Springut said.

He says it is not common that festivals like this go on for as long as the Lilac Festival has.

“Just the fact that it’s been continually going on and attracting members of the community, people from around the world come to see our collection of lilacs and enjoy the festival,” Springut said.

Other than the Giving Garden, the festival will have over 50 food vendors and countless bands performing throughout the 10-day festival. The festival is only 24 days away, starting on May 12 and going until May 21 in Highland Park. You can view the calendar of events below.