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Spokane Lilac Festival canceled for first time since World War II

The Torchlight parade had previously been postponed to July over coronavirus concerns.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The 2020 Lilac Festival, "Destination Spokane," has been canceled, as well as a mini parade planned in its place.

The announcement was made around 6 a.m. on the Festival's website. 

"This was not a decision taken lightly.  After many discussions and meetings with our local and state officials, it is clear that it is not feasible to hold the Festival in a safe manner, nor the type of Festival our wonderful community deserves and has come to expect," said 2020 ‘Destination Spokane’ Lilac Festival President  Dan VerHeul. 

Although originally planning to host a mini parade led by the Spokane Police Department on Saturday, May 16, the Spokane Lilac Festival announced on Tuesday afternoon that it too had been canceled at the recommendation of Spokane County Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz.

"The Lilac Festival will now shift our efforts into planning the 2021 Festival events, including the 83rd Armed Forces Torchlight Parade. We anticipate being back better than ever in the Spring of 2021," VerHaul said in an email.

The Torchlight parade had previously been postponed to July over coronavirus concerns. 

This is the first time since World War II that the festival has been cancelled. 

Credit: Lilac Festival

"We are inviting the public to join us along the route to wave and cheer on these amazing seven young women and leaders," VerHeult said.   

Organizers ask that attendees follow social distancing guidelines. 

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