The Lilac Festival and the missing monarch

The Lilac Festival and the missing monarch

On Elmwood Avenue. 5/10/17

With the Lilac Festival just around the corner, now’s the time to look back at last year’s festival.

In Living Lilac. On the Road, we looked at the vendors who live for the duration of the festival in the encampment on South Avenue. We met Livia, Rick, Dan, Maria, Lazarus and Joe who travel around the northeast selling food and entertainment at festivals like ours.  And at 9:06 in morning Carl Gaedt was setting up the main stage audio; while Chris Beyer was preparing the tent audio.


Livia Green from Massachusetts. From Living Lilac. On the Road

In A modest proposal for the Festival’s troubles. Bring back the Lilac Queen. And add a King, we searched in vain for the festival’s missing monarch. We also suggested the festival re-instate the monarchy to help curb festival mayhem.

In Talker gets some lilac love from the Democrat and Chronicle, our proposal received attention from a local newspaper. With a new controversial festival rule that children 16 and under must have parental supervision, our non-coercive idea makes even more sense.

In On bikes and writing: Bike Writers, we met Dave Dowd and Monica Majcher of the Bike Writers.

This year’s festival includes a sad memory. In the years that Charlotte Lahr ran her liquor store on South Avenue, she was a beaming presence right across from the festival, always generous with her white wine samplings for thirsty festival goers. Tragically, Char was murdered several months ago. A remembrance shrine remains outside the store. See Charlotte Lahr (1970 – 2017)

UPDATE: At today’s parade, floats passed the store.


Lilac Festival Parade. 5/13/17

And this year, the vendors are back for more.  The encampment is filling up.

Big Kahuna’s is back.

And I met vendor Eric Goshorn, music consultant who works festivals for Road Runner records. Eric is here from New Castle, Pennsylvania for his first Lilac Festival and his first time in Rochester.  Interestingly, Eric’s clan hails from Rochester. While Eric is here, he’s tracking down any surviving kin or gravesites. Today, Eric looked up at the perfect spring sky and marveled at Rochester’s weather.


Eric Goshorn 5/10/17 see Living Lilac. On the Road


The Guardian, the Crime Victims Memorial and other tucked away gems in Highland Park

Living Lilac. On the Road.

A modest proposal for the Festival’s troubles. Bring back the Lilac Queen. And add a King

Talker gets some lilac love from the Democrat and Chronicle

On bikes and writing: Bike Writers

Charlotte Lahr (1970 – 2017)

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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