Spokane Lilac Festival and Parade to Return for 84th Year

[Spokane, WA] After two years of cancellations the Spokane Lilac Festival Association (SLFA) is excited to announce the return of the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade to downtown Spokane on Saturday May 21.

Prior to 2020 and 2021, the Lilac Festival has only been cancelled three times due to disruption from World War II from 1943 through 1945. In celebration of a return to Community, the 2022 Festival theme selected by President Alan Hart is “Our Town.”

“After two years of delays, cancellations and separation, we are ready to gather as a community again,” said Alan Hart. “Now is the time to showcase the many things we love about Our Town, not only Spokane but our entire region.”

Sponsored by BECU, the 2022 parade will once again feature local and visiting high school bands, community floats, equestrian units, marching and vehicle units representing branches of the armed forces and veterans, and a few surprises in between.

The SLFA invites the community to mark their calendar for Festival Week commencing May 16 and culminating with the Torchlight Parade on May 21. The SLFA invites you to join us at any of our fun and exciting events.

Monday, May 16

Lilac Legacy Art Show
6:00 pm | Nectar Catering & Events | FREE – Donations accepted
The Spokane Lilac Festival Association presents the Sixth Annual Lilac Legacy Art Show. Featuring exhibitions of artwork from local artists and the selection of the 2023 Official Festival Artist.

Friday, May 20

Queen’s Luncheon Sponsored by Empower Esthetics
11:30 am | DoubleTree Hotel | $50 per person
Join Queen Janna and the 2022 Our Town Lilac Festival Royal Court for a luncheon hosting visiting royalty with an inspiring message from 2022 Parade Honorary Grand Marshal, the Honorable Debra L. Stephens of the Washington State Supreme Court. We will also be recognizing the Teachers of the Year that have been selected by our Royal Court from their respective high schools.

President’s Gala
6:30 pm | DoubleTree Hotel | $100 per person
Celebrate Spokane at the President’s Gala hosted by 2022 Lilac Festival President, Alan Hart. Welcome community leaders from across the Pacific Northwest, recognize Civil and Military Persons of the Year while enjoying entertainment, dancing and a keynote from 2022 Parade Grand Marshal, Retired USAF Colonel, John “Marshall” Groves.

Saturday, May 21

Cruzin’ the Falls Car Show Sponsored by TDS Fiber
10:00 am to 5:00 pm | Spokane Falls Blvd, Stevens to Post | Vehicle registration $10
Before the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade on Saturday May 21, join us in downtown Spokane on Spokane Falls Blvd west of Stevens for the Cruizin’ the Falls Car Show sponsored by TDS Fiber from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Enjoy music from KEY 101.1, hosted by morning show DJ, Kent Jones. Vehicle entry is a $10 donation, Registration opens at 9:00 am and closes when full or at 11:00 am. Awards presentation at 4:00 pm, with awards sponsored by Les Schwab Tires. Cars will line up to cruise through the parade route at 5:30 pm.

Food Truck Festival
11:00 am – Close | Riverfront Park Howard Street Bridge
Join the Greater Spokane Food Truck Association in Riverfront Park for a sampling of Spokane’s best mobile food trucks! Serving up while supplies last.

Lilac Festival Brewfest
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm | 10 N Wall Street | Tickets $35, VIP Ticket $45
Festival planners are adding a new event to Festival Weekend! The Brewfest will showcase Spokane’s many award-winning and innovative breweries. All tickets include a commemorative glass and 10 tokens for 5-oz pours at the participating breweries.

Armed Forces Torchlight Parade with Signature Sponsor BECU
7:45 pm | Downtown Spokane Parade Start Spokane Falls and Washington | Bleacher seating $15
Don’t miss the nation’s largest Armed Forces Torchlight Parade! City streets close at 4:00 pm taking over 16 square blocks in the heart of downtown to celebrate Our Town – the Lilac City – Spokane. Enjoy the best view of the parade when you purchase a pass for bleacher viewing located at Main Ave and Washington.

All tickets can be found online at www.spokanelilacfestival.org. Most events will be held at the SLFA’s 2022 host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Spokane City Center.

Support the return of the parade and festival programs when you purchase a 2022 “Our Town” theme pin. The SLFA first introduced an annual theme in 1984 under President Ronald Hardin. That theme was “Spread Your Wings” and the tradition has continued until today. Pins can be found at sponsors and retailers throughout the region, and are available for only $5.

“When you purchase a pin, you’re purchasing an opportunity to support our mission of honoring our military, empowering our youth, and showcasing our region,” says Hart.

The Spokane Lilac Festival Association (SLFA) is a 501c3 nonprofit community organization established in 1938 by the Associated Garden Club of Spokane. Following the end of World War Two, what had been a loosely organized group of enthusiasts gathered to officially form the Spokane Lilac Festival Association, launching in 1946 and continuing to this day. Each May the SLFA hosts communities from across the Pacific Northwest for the annual Lilac Festival culminating in the nation’s largest Armed Forces Torchlight Parade on Armed Forces Day. SLFA Directors and the Royal Court of seven high school seniors selected from among Spokane County’s 31 area high schools travel across the north-west each summer with the festival float, serving as ambassadors of Spokane to the region and beyond. To learn more about the SLFA visit www.spokanelilacfestival.org.