Spokane Lilac Festival Events

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

[Spokane, WA] – The Spokane Lilac Festival Association (SLFA) is inviting the region to celebrate spring in Spokane for the 85th Annual Spokane Lilac Festival and Armed Forces Torchlight Parade.

Sponsored by Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Northern Quest Resort & Casino, the 2023 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.

“We are so excited to celebrate Spokane and the Pacific Northwest, and our Military and Veterans with the 85th Armed Forces Torchlight parade,” says 2023 SLFA President, Sam Snow. “As we move past the pandemic and back into normal events and activities, community gatherings like the Lilac Parade help us all move 'Onward'.”

Mark your calendar for Festival Week commencing May 15 and culminating with the Torchlight Parade on Saturday, May 19. Tickets to individual events can be found online at www.spokanelilacfestival.org.

Tuesday, May 16

Lilac Legacy Art Show

6:00 pm | Fete | $5 entry

The Spokane Lilac Festival Association presents the Seventh Annual Lilac Legacy Art Show. Featuring exhibitions of artwork from 14 local artists and the selection of the 2024 Official Festival Artist.

Friday, May 19

Queen’s Luncheon

11:30am | Historic Davenport Hotel | $55 per person

Join Queen Josephine and the 2023 Onward Lilac Festival Royal Court for a luncheon hosting visiting royalty and youth representatives from regional communities with an inspiring message and entertainment for young leaders. The event will also recognize the Teachers of the Year, sponsored by Gesa Credit Union, that have been selected by each Royal Court member from their respective high schools.

President’s Gala

6:30 pm | Historic Davenport Hotel | $110 per person

Celebrate Spokane at the President’s Gala hosted by 2023 Lilac Festival President, Sam Snow. Welcome community leaders from across the Pacific Northwest, recognize Civil and Military Persons of the Year while enjoying entertainment and a keynote from 2023 Parade Grand Marshal, Rear Admiral Douglas Asbjornsen, followed by dancing with Mojo, the Party Band.

Saturday, May 20

Cruzin’ the Falls Car Show

9:00 am to 4:00 pm | Spokane Falls Blvd, Stevens to Post | $15 advanced vehicle registration, $20 day-of

Before the Armed Forces Torchlight Parade on Saturday May 20, join us in downtown Spokane on Spokane Falls Blvd west of Stevens for the Cruizin’ the Falls Car Show. Vehicle entry is a $10 donation. Registration opens at 9:00am and closes when full or at 11:00 am. Awards presentation at 4:00 pm followed by a reverse car parade through the parade route at 5:30 pm.

Lilac City Marketplace

10:00 am – 5:00 pm | Howard Street at Spokane Falls Blvd

All new in 2023, the Lilac City Marketplace is a chance to support local artisans and find something uniquely Spokane. Located on Howard Street next to the Cruzin’ the Falls Car Show, explore local handmade goods and more on parade day in the heart of Downtown Spokane.

2nd Annual Lilac Festival Brewfest

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm | Riverfront Park | Tickets $30, $35 day-of, VIP Ticket $40

After a successful first year, Brewfest is back for a second year and is twice as big. Brewfest will showcase over 30 of Spokane’s many award-winning and innovative breweries. Tickets include a commemorative glass and tokens for 5-oz pours at the participating breweries.

Armed Forces Torchlight Parade with Signature Sponsor Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Northern Quest Resort & Casino

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 Onward – 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.

Support the parade and SLFA programs when you purchase a 2023 “Onward” 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 Snow.


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 www.spokanelilacfestival.org