For those of you who are not from the Spokane area, you may not know a lot about the Lilac Festival, and until this last week I would have been one of those people. However, this last week I was able to experience all things Lilac Festival, and I think it’s safe to say I now know why it’s such a big deal!
On Saturday May 10, the week of the Lilac Festival kicked off with the Jr. Lilac Parade. This is a shorter version of the Lilac Parade and incorporates the elementary and middle schools in the area.
We threw it back to the 70’s to celebrate 40 years since the World’s Fair was hosted in Spokane. Several parade participants, including myself dressed in 1970’s attire.
Following the parade, the girls and I headed over to River Park Square for the Family Fun Expo.
The Miss Spokane Scholarship Organization had a booth set up to interact with the kids, promote the organization and hopefully recruit new contestants and princesses.
On May 16, I had the honor of not only attending the Lilac Royalty Luncheon, but I had the opportunity to speak and present the Lilac Royalty with a pin courtesy of the Miss Spokane Scholarship Organization.
In addition to the 7 beautiful young ladies that make up the Lilac Royalty, myself and my court, there were several other festival courts there like the Sunnyside Royalty, rodeo queens and several women representing the Distinguished Young Women program.
We were all so lucky to sit at the head table with Queen Kaylee and her incredible princesses.
For lunch, we enjoyed a spinach quiche and garden salad. Dessert was a rich chocolate cake, drizzled in raspberry sauce.
On Saturday, it was finally time for the Lilac Parade…well almost. We hopped around from place to place before the actual parade. The day began with an event at our Miss Spokane Sponsor, Glen Dow Academy. Struck for Strokes was raising money for the American Heart Association and invited all guests who received service at Glen Dow to be a part of a photo shoot with Elaina and me.
Following, the girls and I headed to the Visiting Royalty Reception with all of the girls from the luncheon and so many more. The reception was so much fun with dancing, crafts and a great photo booth, fully equipped with purple mustaches.
The car show and Family Fun Expo was next. The expo was a continuation from the weekend before and the car show was in the River Front Park and featured older cars that would later be in the parade. I fell in love with an old Chrysler and a little girl named December!
It was NOW time for the parade! The streets had been lined with people since 11 am and as the time grew closer they the crowds grew larger. The girls and I met at the staging area and walked around to say hello to some friends and thank the soldiers who were just behind us in line for their service. Finally it was our turn, so Ashlee and I hopped in the back of our rocking blue convertible and we were off. The event is televised, so there were camera crews and lights everywhere-Oh, if I didn’t mention, the parade is at night and is the largest armed forces torchlight parade in the country.
Everything was running smoothly when about half way through the parade our convertible wasn’t so rocking anymore. In fact, it was dead, but as we say we were flexible and gracious. We broke down ironically right in front of my parents and friends, so the boys being the quick thinkers they are jumped onto the street and helped steer us off to the side. The crowds were even louder when being pushed by three strong guys. I would say it actually made the parade that much better.
Ashlee and I then jumped out of the car and waited in the crowd in our gowns and boots- no one was supposed to see our feet- for the truck which had the teens in it. Stopping the parade yet again, Ashlee and I hopped on the back of the truck with the others and finished out the parade. In the end, it was a great great night and I have one heck of a story to tell people about my first Lilac Parade.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this week possible! No one could have done it without every single one of you!
Well, until next time,