New security policy at this year's Lilac Festival

Apr 19, 2017

This year's Lilac Festival will feature a new entrance policy, requiring anyone 16 years old or younger to be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult over 21 year or older.

Monroe County Parks Director Larry Staub outlined the new program, as organizers unveiled the Lilac Poster for 2017, marking the official countdown to the annual event.

Artist Kurt Pfieffer with this year's Lilac Festival Poster
Credit Alex Crichton

"What better way to encourage family participation and ensure a family-friendly event than to implement this parental escort policy," he said.

Staub says that parental escort can supervise up to five young people.

And anyone who appears to be 17 years of age or under will be required to produce valid identification.

Also new this year is a Craft Beverage Expo, and an attempt to break the Guiness World record for the longest hug relay, currently held by Mexico City with 1,290 people.

The goal at the Lilac Festival is 1,800.

Monroe County Parks Director Larry Staub

As for the lilacs, Superintendent of Horticulture at Monroe County Parks, Mark Quinn, says  things are beginning to flower in Higland Park, and that's a good sign.

"The cherries and the magnolias are flowering, you can see the Amelanchier right out the window here.  The park is really starting to look good, and these are all good signs that the lilacs should be on time," he said.

The Lilac Festival is ten days of music, food, and, of course, the lilacs, some 500 varieties of them.

It's expected half a million people will visit Highland Park this year, generating around $3 million dollars for the local economy.

Here's Mark Quinn talking about this year's lilacs: