Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lilac Festival, Rochester, New York

May 11 to May 20, 2012

The Rochester Lilac Festival takes place every May in Highland Park

In 1892 under direction of the new superintendent of parks Calvin C. Laney, horticulturist John Dunbar began the park's lilac collection with 20 varieties, some of which were descendants of native plants brought over by early settlers.

Overseeing the parks design was Frederick L Olmstead (of Central Park fame),
his goal was to give the park a random and natural feel.

The festival is celebrating 114 years of welcoming visitors to view the lilacs

Many varieties of tulips and other spring flowers are also

There are over 500 different varieties of lilacs on display

In the late 1800's people started gathering at the park when the lilacs would bloom and in 1898, Rochester held it's first official Lilac Festival for a crowd of around three thousand. Today over half of a million people visit the 1,200 specimens that make up about 500 different varieties of lilacs covering over 20 of the parks now 155 acres.

This Festival is known worldwide and people travel from many states and countries to view.
The official activities come to a close this weekend, but don't be dismayed, if you haven't visited yet. You can still visit the park after that date, the lilacs have been there for over 100 years and they are not going anywhere. Just try to visit before the blooms finish.

When I visit and take in the sweet aroma of the lilacs I feel renewed energy and increased wonder at the amazing gifts that we are given by Mother Nature.

If you do stop by take some time and drive along the banks of Lake Ontario it is a beautiful scenic ride.


photos by peacesojourner

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