Spokane Lilac Festival Announces 2022 Holiday Events

December with the return of the second annual Merry & Magical Holiday Parade on Saturday November 19 in downtown Spokane at 2:00pm.

Don your red, green, and purple when the SLFA kicks-off the 2022 Holiday Season with a festive showcase of community groups, marching bands, floats, and more, culminating with an appearance by the man in red, Santa! The Merry & Magical Parade follows an abbreviated version of the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade held each May.

“Our hardworking Parade Krewe volunteers can’t wait to bring the holidays back to the Inland Northwest,” says SLFA vice president of parade, Jamie Dedmon. “We hope that many families and friends will come out to support this new holiday tradition and ring-in in the season with us.”
Parade entries are free to Active Duty Military Groups, Veteran Groups, High School Bands and Northwest Hosting members. All other community groups are $25, and Commercial Entries are $500.

Applications for parade entries close on Friday, October 28 and can be found at www.spokanelilacfestival.org/holidayparade.

Lilacs in December continues with a Holiday Brunch on Saturday December 10 at the Historic Davenport Hotel. Early bird pricing is $40 through October 31 and tickets include a morning of family-friendly activities including carols, performances, crafts, photos with Santa and much more.

“As an organization that was founded in 1938, the Lilac Festival is no stranger to change,” says 2023 SLFA president, Sam Snow. “While the past two years were a challenge, we are excited to have emerged with new traditions and opportunities which advance our mission to honor our Military, empower our youth, and showcase our region.”

Attendees of the Merry & Magical Parade and Holiday Bruncheon are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots. For nearly two decades, the SLFA has partnered with local Toys For Tots affiliates to gather and distribute toys for children in need.

Spokane Lilac Festival Association Announces 2023 Leadership and Theme

On Tuesday, September 13, at an installation dinner held at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Spokane, volunteers of the Spokane Lilac Festival Association (SLFA) announced plans and inducted leadership for the 85th festival year.

During the gathering 2022 Festival President, Alan Hart, reflected on the many accomplishments of the SLFA over a challenging two years. Hart highlighted successful fundraising, renewed interest and growth in directorship, and the addition featured SLFA events “all under extraordinary circumstances.” New events included a Holiday Parade and Holiday Bruncheon in 2021 and a Brewers Festival held on Festival Weekend 2022.

The 2022 “Our Town” parade hosted nearly 80,000 participants and spectators in downtown Spokane, bringing attendance nearly even with participation in the 2019. “Since 1938, the Lilac Festival has served as a beacon of community for the region,” said Hart. “Through all the challenges, Lilac will continue to grow and adapt, and to serve our mission to honor our military, empower youth and showcase our region.”

1989 Past President, Marilyn Thordarson, presided over the confirmation of the executive committee recognizing the new officers that will serve in volunteer leadership positions over the next year.

The 2023 Spokane Lilac Festival Association Executive Board includes:

  • President: Sam Snow, Itron
  • 2024 President Elect: Cindy Zapotocky
  • Past President: Alan Hart, Retired US Air Force
  • Treasurer: Monika Hawkinson, Spokane Public Schools
  • Area Relations, Community Military: Karen Montague, Visit Spokane
  • Community Partnerships: Adriana Berndt, Eastern Washington University
  • Director Development: Cecelia Stephens
  • Float: Scott Phipps, Avista
  • Hosting: Jasmin Davis
  • Merchandising and Marketing: Elisabeth Hooker, Downtown Spokane Partnership
  • Parade: Jamie Dedmon
  • Royalty: Kim Johnson, Providence

Following the change of leadership, 2023 President, Sam Snow, addressed the assembly, announcing the 2023 Spokane Lilac Festival theme, “Onward.”

“To put it simply, ‘onward’ is a continuation forward, moving ahead and not coming to an end,” said Snow. “This signifies and represents the place we are with Lilac. We’re moving on, we’re doing great things. In order to continue and exist and make it to our one-hundredth anniversary, we need to continue to forge ahead and be relevant in our community.”

The 2023 theme pin – a tradition established in 1983 – features images of the Monroe Street bridge, a KC 135, the iconic clocktower in Riverfront Park and a train engine, ever moving forward and onward. Theme pins will be available for sale beginning early 2023 at local retailers and online at www.spokanelilacfestival.org.

The SLFA invites community members to mark the calendar for November 19, 2022, for the second annual Merry & Magical Holiday Parade presented by the SLFA in downtown Spokane, kicking off the 2022 Holiday Season.

2022 Armed Forces Torchlight Parade Winners

Congratulations to the following award honorees of the 84th Annual Spokane Lilac Festival

Band awards sponsored by Hoffman Music, Float and thank-you awards sponsored by Les Schwab Tires, Car Show awards sponsored by TDS Fiber.

Float Judging Results

Lilac Sweepstakes Award (Best Overall Community Float)

#94 Davenport

Queen’s Award (Best in Population 500-2,000)

1st Place: #80 Manson Apple Blossom
2nd Place: #148 Tekoa
3rd Place: #125 Oroville

President’s Award (Best in Population 2,000-15,000)

1st Place: #134 Prosser
2nd Place: #119 Deer Park
3rd Place: #54 Connell

Grand Marshall Award (Best in Population 15,000-700,000)

1st Place: #116 Washington State Apple Blossom-Wenatchee
2nd Place: #138A Hyack-New Westminster
3rd Place: #87 Capital Lakefair-Olympia

Torchlight Awards (for Best Lighting)

1st Place: #94 Davenport Float
2nd Place: #134 Prosser Float
3rd Place: #126 Othello High School Band Band

Equestrian Winners

Royalty
Pendleton Roundup

Specialty
Spokane C.O.P.S

Community
Ellensburg Rodeo Posse

Pooper Scooper
Spokane C.O.P.S.

Michael Dedmon Memorial Award of Excellence
Miss Cheney Rodeo

Evelyn Jones “Best Overall Equestrian”
Happy Canyon Indian Princesses

Band Winners

The following schools earned “Lilac Gold Standard Awards” at the 2022 Lilac Parade. The order is in alphabetical order and does not represent a hierarchy. The Lilac Gold Standard represents a high level of excellence. All bands in the parade, regardless of school or band size are eligible for this award. They are chosen by two expert band adjudicators.

Cheney High School
Colville Hgh School
Davenport High School
East Valley High School
Ferris High School
Lewis and Clark High School
Liberty High School
Mead High School
Moses Lake High School
Mt. Spokane High School
North Central High School
Olympic View Middle School
Prosser High School
Reardan-Edwall High Schools
Ridgeline High School
Riverside/Deer Park HS
Rogers High School
Southeast Washington High Schools
Sunnyside High School
University High School
West Valley High School

 

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.

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2019 Armed Forces Torchlight Parade Winners

Float Winners

Lilac Sweepstakes Award (Best Overall Community Float)

Connell Community Float – Connell, WA

Queen’s Award (Best in Population 100-1,000)

1st Place – Freeman Community Float, Freeman, WA2nd Place – Tekoa Slippery Gulch Float3rd – Rosalia Community Float & Royalty Association – Rosalia, WA

Princess’ Award (Best in Population 1,000-2,000)

1st Place – Manson Apple Blossom, Manson, WA2nd Place – Ritzville Festivals Association – Ritzville, WA3rd – Celebrate Davenport – Davenport, WA

President’s Award (Best in Population 2,000-12,000)

1st Place – Chewelah Community Float, Chewelah, WA2nd Place – Prosser Chamber of Commerce – Prosser, WA3rd – Deer Park Community Float – Deer Park, WA

Grand Marshal Award (Best in Population 12,000-700,000)

1st Place – Miss Sunnyside Scholarship Program – Sunnyside, WA2nd Place – Washington State Apple Blossom Festival – Wenatchee, WA3rd – Penticton Peach Festival – Penticton, British Columbia

Torchlight Award (Best Lighting)

1st Place – Prosser Chamber of Commerce Float – Prosser, WA2nd Place – Washington State Apple Blossom Festival – Wenatchee, WA3rd – C.O.P.S. Mounted Patrol Unit – Equestrian

Equestrian Winners

Royalty

Walla Walla Fair & Frontier Days

Specialty

U.S. Border Patrol

Community

C.O.P.S. Mounted Patrol Unit

Pooper Scooper

Newport Rodeo

Michael Dedmon Memorial Award of Excellence

Pendleton Roundup Royalty

Evelyn Jones “Best Overall Equestrian”

Happy Canyon Company

Band Winners

The following schools earned “Lilac Gold Standard Awards” at the 2019 Lilac Parade.  The order is in alphabetical order and does not represent a hierarchy. The Lilac Gold Standard represents a high level of excellence.  All bands in the parade, regardless of school or band size are eligible for this award.  They are chosen by two expert band adjudicators.

Central Valley High School

Cheney High School

Colville High School

Davenport High School

East Valley High School

Ferris High School

Freeman High school

Highland High School

Jenkins High School

Kamiak High school

Kentlake High School

Lewis & Clark High School

Liberty High School

Mariachi al Lado Del Sol

Mead High School

Medical Lake High School

Moses Lake High School

Mt. Spokane High School

North Central High School

Northwood Middle School

Riverside/Deer Park HS

Rogers High School

Shadle Park High School

Sultan High School

Sunnyside High School

The Beat Goes On

University High School

West Valley High School