The local news media is making much too much over the events at the Lilac Festival last weekend.
Ten people got arrested there Saturday. Seven of them were punk kids. One adult flasher was also apprehended.
Hundreds of people have been involved in brawls at Ontario Beach Park during summer events there over the years.
The only interesting thing about the arrests involving the punk kids on Saturday were the photos of one girlie getting handcuffed by the cops while another girlie was puking her brains out. Those babes got their fifteen seconds worth of fame, and are probably posting those photos in their family albums.
Rochester institution Nick Tahou's also got into the act. They were ticketed because their employees didn't wear identification tags. They are now threatening to boycott the Lilac Festival forever more.
Now that's a step in the right direction.
Tahou's is famous for its aptly named "garbage plate," which consists of your choice of meat, fries and mac salad covered with liberal helpings of greasy meat sauce. It's deadly stuff, but Rochesterians claim that they love it.
Perhaps that's what the girlie was puking up when she was photographed.
The problem with the Lilac Festival is that it has become a carnival over the last few decades. The lilacs have taken second place to the greasy food merchants and junk peddlers that dominate the festival. The musical entertainment, such as it is, is geared to the sort of punks that the officials now want to keep out of the festival unless accompanied by a parent.
The solution to these rather mundane and picayune problems is very simple: Return the festival to a simpler, gentler, less hectic time and concentrate only on the lilacs ( and the pansy bed, and the rhododendrons ).
Get rid of the food and junk peddlers. They can sell their shit at all of the arts and crafts festivals the city sponsors during the summer. They do, too.
If there must be music, we have the world renowned Rochester Philharmonic and the students of the Eastman and Hochstein schools of music that could perform. It isn't the sort of music that attracts punks.
Horse and buggy rides could also provide some low key excitement.
In short, make it a pleasant, easy paced event for people who want to stroll, sniff and stare. Do that, and the punks won't want to come to the Lilac Festival, so there will be no problem keeping them out. They'll look for someplace more exciting to cause trouble at.
The city and the county make too much money issuing permits to seriously want to change anything. The smell of frying grease masks the scent of the lilacs; the shitty knick-knacks for sale compete with the beauty of nature. It's a sign of temporary economic prosperity.
The Lilac Festival has become just plain tacky. Rochester likes tacky.