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Civil War veteran James Hard served as honorary chairman of the Lilac Festival, spring 1943
Civil War veteran James Hard served as honorary chairman of the Lilac Festival, spring 1943. Photo: Local History Division, Rochester Public Library

The Flower City

The city of Rochester holds a week-long Lilac Festival in mid-May that originated in the 1890's with the planting of lilacs in Highland Park. Visitors can view 4,300 different species, including more than 500 varieties of lilacs, 50 types of magnolias, several hundred rhododendrons, 40 types of maples and oaks, and 300 conifers. The city's public park system has grown from a donation of 20 acres in 1888 to 11,000 acres and includes design work of the noted landscape artist Frederick Law Olmsted.

Originally submitted by: Louise McIntosh Slaughter, Representative (28th District).



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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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