Ahh, the Lilac Festival! The official start of spring. A time to walk through the trails of Highland Park in rapt amazement at the resilience of nature after a particularly harsh winter. An opportunity to rejoice in Rochester’s legacy as the “Flower City.” An occasion for — oh, who am I kidding? Lilacs make me sneeze, and honestly, when you’ve seen one lilac bush, you’ve seen them all. But the weather was warm (mostly), the fried dough was plentiful, and the Root was Rusted. Seriously, what is the deal with Rochester and Rusted Root? At least they still sound good, unlike some of the other former stars who have graced the Lilac Fest stage. *cougheddiemoneycough*
I made it to the Lilac Fest three times this year. Once on Saturday, when it was nearly 90 degrees and I was wildly overdressed, and once on Tuesday, when it was nearly 50 degrees and I was wildly underdressed. I then discovered that eating fried dough while wearing dark clothes in a windy environment is a bad idea. I did not make it into the expensive all you can drink beer tent, but the craft beer tent out by the lilac arches had a much better selection than last year. I’d really like to see more food trucks at the festival, but aside from that, the food selection was also pretty good. I also liked how the vendors were moved up by the reservoir, as it seemed to get more people out into the park to explore.
Finally, I went back on Thursday to see Rusted Root with my dad. As you can see below, so did half of Rochester. UR missed out on the chance to make some cash, because everyone started parking on the lawn of the abandoned psych center. (There’s a joke somewhere in there about how crazy we all are for loving Rusted Root, I KNOW IT.) Despite the fact that there was no one directing traffic, everyone politely directed themselves into neat rows of cars. I was strangely proud. Good show of being nice and orderly when no one made you, guys. We managed to slide into the perfect spot at the top of the crowd just as “Send Me On My Way” started playing. I have now filled my Rusted Root quota for the next five years, and my fried dough quota until Canal Days.