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COMMUNITY & MILITARY

Kristy Hamby

2018 VP Community & Military

We are fortunate in Spokane to have a military installation right here!  Spokane loves Fairchild Air Force Base, home to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, 92nd Air National Guard and the 336th Training Group.

Of course, we have a Naval Operational Support Center in town, Spokane MEPS – US Military Entrance Processing Command, Recruiting Commands for all services and more.  The Spokane Lilac Festival always finds a way to reach all branches of the service in the area from participating in Toys for Tots with the Marine Corp every year, to being a regular host for Spokane Navy Weeks!

With Fairchild Air Force Base being our largest military host in the area, we engage with our local airmen many times during the year. Events the Festival has worked with the base on are Operation Cookie Drop, Skyfest, All City Civic Military Luncheons, Armed Forces Appreciation Golf Tournament and more!

It is important to the Spokane Lilac Festival to support the Greater Spokane Community. That includes participating in local runs, serving ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s, visiting the Veterans Home, and giving out awards at events like the Annual Windermere Marathon and the State “B” Basketball Tournament.

Supporting our military personnel that are active duty is essential, but Spokane has a large Veteran and Retired Military populations here as well.  There are several Veterans of Foreign War posts in the Spokane area, a VA hospital and a Veterans Home. Many of our Lilac Directors are prior military and we always look forward to working with the Gold Star Moms every festival season as they are one of our most poignant entries in our parade.

We host many community events throughout the year from our famous Royal Tea Party for the younger children in the community to our Nostalgic “Cruzin the Falls” Car Show the day of the parade.

The Spokane Lilac Festival is an active part of the Spokane Community, but one of our greatest ways of serving our community is to be ambassadors around the Pacific Northwest as our Float, Royal Court and Directors attend regional festivals to share Spokane with other Washington, Idaho and even Canadian cities.

Every year, our Parade Grand Marshal is a military hero. Sometimes they were a former Commander from Fairchild Air Force Base. Sometimes they are part of Spokane Navy Week. Sometimes they have a few stars, but other times, they have a few stripes. There is usually a Spokane area tie, but every year, it is amazing to honor a member of our Armed Forces with leading our parade to remind us of all those who serve our country to protect our great country and our freedoms.