Media Release

July 18, 2023
Contact: Sam Snow,

Spokane Lilac Festival Association Announces Adriana Berndt as Executive Director

[Spokane, WA] – The Spokane Lilac Festival Association (SLFA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Adriana Berndt as its new Executive Director. A true Spokanite, Berndt brings a wealth of experience and a deep connection to the festival, making her an ideal choice to lead the organization into the future.

Having already served the organization as a director in recent years, Berndt has most recently served in a contract position for the organization as Development Director, raising over $150,000 in new funding to support annual SLFA activities. “Hiring Adriana was an easy choice,” says 2023 SLFA Board President, Sam Snow. “Her dedicated passion and commitment to the organization is exactly what we need.” Berndt brings invaluable insider knowledge, a keen understanding of the festival’s legacy, and a heartfelt commitment to the festival’s core values. As the festival continues to evolve, the appointment of Berndt marks a significant milestone in its history, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to nurturing local talent and celebrating the Spokane community. The position Berndt fills was vacant for almost two decades due to funding shortages, in the interim years the organization has operated almost entirely by volunteers.

Berndt’s journey with the Spokane Lilac Festival began during her high school days at Gonzaga Preparatory School, where she had the distinguished honor of being crowned the 2003 Spokane Lilac Festival Princess during her senior year. This early involvement sparked her Lilac Love, a passion that has endured throughout her life.

Berndt’s educational pursuits reflect her commitment to personal growth and community engagement. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Washington State University and went on to obtain a Master’s degree in Applied Psychology from Eastern Washington University. Over the years, Adriana Berndt has accumulated valuable professional experience holding pivotal roles in prestigious institutions, including Director of Alumni & Parent Engagement at Gonzaga Prep, Assistant Director of Alumni Programs at EWU, and most recently, as the Associate Director of Philanthropy at EWU. Additionally, Berndt has contributed her expertise to the development of young minds and spirits as the varsity cheerleading coach at Gonzaga Prep for the past decade.

Expressing her excitement about her new role, Berndt shared her sentiments, saying, “I am so honored to help the Spokane Lilac Festival Association advance its mission of honoring our military, empowering our youth, and showcasing our region! As Spokane’s longest-running local organization, I am excited to partner with our amazing community to keep the SLFA around for another 85 years. Lilac Love!”


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 northwest each summer with the festival float, serving as ambassadors of Spokane to the region and beyond. To learn more about the SLFA, visit