Life » Culture

Work off that festival food with these festival workouts


When we think of festivals, often we envision standing around, soaking in the sun, and grazing on greasy and sugary foods. But some parts of the annual fests are specifically geared to get you moving and thinking about your health and wellness. So whether you’re ready to run a full 10K, or fresh air yoga is more your speed, read on for opportunities to focus on fitness.

Fitness amid the flowers
Lilac Festival, Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15
In addition to the annual 5K and 10K races (AKA the Lilac Run on May 22), the Lilac Festival’s offerings this year also include fitness classes and a Health and Wellness Expo. Ticketed classes will take place in eight different Flower Fitness zones throughout Highland Park and include barre, yoga, rowing, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), bootcamp, dance fitness, cycling, pilates, and T’ai Chi, offered 9 a.m. to 1:40 p.m. by Spoke Cycle and Fitness, Burn Boot Camp, M/Body, Spenga, FLX Mobility+Performance, Hikyoga, the Rochester T’ai Chi Ch’uan Center, and the JCC. Don’t be afraid to really break a sweat — between the scents of the lilacs and fried food, you’ll have olfactory cover for the rest of your visit. A Flower Fitness day pass costs $38 and gets you access to your choice of classes at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, and 1 p.m.

The special events tent will be open with information and products on nutrition and wellness, fitness equipment, salon and day spa services, weight loss, personal development, and more, from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit for more information and to register.

Race with your best friend
The Fast & the Furriest, Saturday, June 4
A centerpiece of this annual pet fest is its 5K and 10K walk with your pooch, which includes a virtual option for those who can’t attend in person. Registration opens at 7 a.m., the 10K starts at 8 a.m., and the 5K at 8:15 a.m. Participation costs $25-$30 and proceeds benefit Rochester Animal Services,184 Verona St.

Get mountain and woods ready
Adirondack Mountain Club's Outdoor Expo, Saturday, June 11, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This event was made specifically for people who enjoy some level of exertion in the great outdoors. While there are a number of hiking and orienteering events during the expo, much of the event is geared toward education. Demos and workshops offer best practices and tips for hiking, canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, and camping. There will also be sessions on some related yet practical skills, such as treating water before you drink it, outdoor cooking, tying knots, and, well, doing what bears do in the woods. Hopefully that last one isn’t a live demo. Gather at the beach area of Mendon Ponds Park, Douglas Road, Mendon. Admission is free.

An artsy run along the river
Corn Hill 5K, Sunday, July 10, 9 a.m.
An annual component of the Corn Hill Arts Festival, this 5K route takes runners along the shaded Genesee Riverway, beginning in the Corn Hill neighborhood and winding past the University of Rochester, through downtown, and along the river. Beautification construction is currently underway on the riverfront, but our fingers are crossed that the heavy machinery will be a distant memory by the dog days of summer. Registration is $30 before May 31, and $35 after.

Rebecca Rafferty is CITY's life editor. She can be reached at [email protected].