The Red Rose Festival, Lancaster’s Signature Event, Returns May 17-18 for its 10th Anniversary.

Balloons and roses will be displayed when the tenth annual Red Rose Festival sets the stage for a weekend of free family fun in the Cultural Arts District of the Red Rose City.  There is no admission fee for the popular two-day music festival, which also features children’s rides and activities, arts and crafts, food vendors, Red Rose Photography Contest, Red Rose Festival Dog Show, Red Rose Festival Car Show, and much more.  The festival opens 6pm Friday, May 17 with an official welcome at the Schiller and Hamilton Law Firm Main Stage.  After Red Rose Photography Contest winners are announced, we will celebrate Rosie the Rabbit’s 10th birthday from 6:30pm until 7 PM with a DJ and her mascot friends from around the area.  Beginning, 7PM attendees will be treated to the 2nd annual Red Rose Festival Pageant, followed by local favorite, Whit’s End – an energetic local band that mixes rock and country, with a modern twist.  The festival will close Friday night at 10:30 PM.  Food vendors on hand with everyone’s favorite festival foods include Allison Concessions, A’loha Sno, Carolina Cajun Meats, Coastal Kettle Corn and Pork Skins, Izzy’s Ice, Jones Lee Concessions, Kona Ice of Lancaster and Chester, Profits Cart Concessions, Southern Fried Factory, and World’s Greatest Funnel Cakes.

Those who enjoy running for a cause can take part in Lancaster Rotary Club’s 5K Race for Charity beginning at 7:45am on Saturday, May 18 at Lancaster High School and finish in time to arrive in the Cultural Arts District for day two of the Red Rose Festival.  The festival is pet-friendly and dog owners are encouraged to register man’s best friend between 9:15-10am to compete for prizes in the annual dog show, sponsored by Nutramax Laboratories.  The Red Rose Festival Car show is making its return to the festival, located in front of Punky’s on Main at South Main Street. Car Show registration is from 9 AM until Noon and the exhibition continues until 3 PM. Trophies will be awarded for The Top Ten, The Best Modern Muscle, Best Import, Best in Show, and Punky’s Pick.  

At 10am on Saturday, May 18, the festival opens with background music from the Schiller and Hamilton Law Firm Main Street stage, as the Red Rose Dog Show takes place on the grounds of Lancaster County History Museum. Prizes will be awarded for Most Adorable Puppy, Best Smile, Biggest, Smallest, Couch Potato, Terrific Pet Trick, Golden Oldie, Wiggliest Tail, and Red Rose Best in Show. Children will enjoy a great variety of free rides, games, and activities throughout the Cultural Arts District and will not want to miss visiting the historic Main Street Post Office, where Lancaster County School District will be hosting a book give-away for children of all ages.  Stop by Sue’s Face Painting, near the food court, to add a bit of festive design.

Browse the arts and crafts area for handcrafted and unique items while enjoying your favorite festival foods or stop by one of the downtown restaurants and cafes to enjoy a leisurely lunch.  Locally owned shops The Craft Stand, Punky’s On Main, and 521 BBQ, will have a great selection of brews.  A signature Red Rose Beer will be available at The Craft Stand beer garden, located at the corner of West Gay and South Main Streets. In the market square, expect to find a variety of gifts, services, and non-profit information. 

Cool off in the welcoming galleries of the Native American Studies Center to view gallery exhibits focused on Native American art, history, and culture.  Visitors will also enjoy archeological viewing, historic archives, and the world’s largest collection of Catawba pottery & artifacts.  Native Artisans will be on site selling art, providing art and music demonstrations, and storytelling from 10am until 1pm on Saturday. Browse the downtown businesses in the Cultural Arts District while getting from place to place is as easy as walking across the street!

On the Schiller and Hamilton Law Firm Main Street Stage at 1pm, join us for our 1st annual Red Rose Festival Beard and Mustache Contest hosted by T Elegance on Main St.  Following the bearded and “stached” contest,  Frikshen takes the stage at 3 pm, with high spirited rock and alternative music to lead into the evening’s line-up.    At 5 pm, Sugarshine, a local band of five talented Lancaster musicians, will entertain the crowds with their original Reggae style music, with a bit of rock and blues. At 7pm, settle onto your blanket or lawn chair as Triple Play Band delivers the best of classic rock, beach music, and ‘70’s dance tunes. The two day music festival will close the evening at 9 PM, with Color Me Badd, one of the top R&B vocal groups of all time. The group has sold 12 million records in the United States and is well known in Australia, Philippines, Indonesia, parts of East Asia, Thailand, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Color Me Badd has some hit singles from their debut album C.M.B. These were “I Wanna Sex You Up” (U.S. #2), “I Adore Mi Amor” (U.S. #1), “All 4 Love” (U.S. #1), “Thinkin’ Back” (U.S. #16) and “Slow Motion” (U.S. #18). “I Wanna Sex You Up” was also on the New Jack City soundtrack and hit number one in the United Kingdom.

The evening will end with a bang, as fireworks illuminate the Cultural Arts District to signal the culmination of the 10th year of fun and entertainment. Always free admission, free parking, free rides, and fun for the whole family.  

The Red Rose Dog Show is sponsored by Nutramax Laboratories, and ArrowPointe Federal Credit Union.  5K Race for Charity is sponsored by Lancaster Rotary Club.  The Red Rose Festival Car Show is sponsored by Punky’s on Main, American Muscle Car Sales, Schiller and Hamilton Law Firm.  The Red Rose Festival Pageant proceeds go to the Children’s Home.  Red Rose Festival Beard and Mustache Contest is sponsored by T Elegance.  Sponsors of the Red Rose Festival include Schiller and Hamilton Law Firm, Rapid Signs, The Lancaster News, Interstate 107FM, 104.1 the bridge, and City of Lancaster.   

For more information about events and festivals in the City of Lancaster please visit the website,  Or email

Lancaster Rotary Club Lancaster Runs 5K 7:45 at Lancaster High School