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2021 Lilac Festivals

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Lilac festivals are among the first outdoor festivals of the year. They herald the beginning of the spring, and a new outdoor gardening season. The timing of the festivals can be somewhat problematic. Cooler springs delay the flowering, while hotter than normal weather, can bring the blossoms out earlier than anticipated. If you travel to a festival, find out when it is being held, and go during the middle of the event. Try to find out how the lilacs are doing- is an early, on-time or late bloom expected?

The Rochester, N.Y. lilac festival is the biggest and best of them all. It has one of the largest displays of lilacs, boasting 500 varieties over 22 acres in Highland Park. The annual Lilac Festival lasts for two weeks, and includes a wide range of events, exhibits, Lilac10K races, craft displays, bands and concerts, and much more. The American Bus Association lists it among it's "Top 100 Events", as bus tours from all over the U.S. and Canada bring tourists there.

2021 Lilac Festival Sites and Dates:

Enjoy the Lilacs! Here are links to lilac festival locations and information. Make arrangements for your overnight stay well in advance. The popularity of these festivals causes area hotels to fill up quickly.

Rochester, NY Lilac Festival It's the granddaddy of lilac festivals. In addition to a huge collection of Lilacs, the Annual Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY includes a parade, 5K and 10k races,  concerts, wine and cheese tasting, plenty of food and craft booths, a craft beer garden, and much more. The festival will be held May 7-16, 2021. Make plans to be there today!

Pine Mountain, Ca. Lilac Festival - third weekend in May

Lilac Park, Lombard, IL - May 1 - 16, 2021. Known as "Lilac Village", the park has been in existence since the 1920's. It boasts over 700 cultivars. Features a parade, Lilac Ball and many more events.

Barryton, Mi. Lilac Festival - June 4-6, 2021

Mackinac Island Lilac Festival - June 4-13, 2021 on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Taos, New Mexico Lilac Festival - Cancelled due to COVID

Spokane, Washington Lilac Festival Gala - May, 2021 TBD

4th Street Lilac Festival -Calgary, B.C., Canada - June 6, 2021

Sapporo Japan Lilac Festival - dates TBD

 

Note: Some festivals are quite late each year in announcing the dates, attempting to time the festival to occur when the lilacs are in bloom. Larger festivals, like the Rochester, NY Lilac Festival, have such extensive list of activities and events, that they need to set the dates well in advance. 

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