Volunteers make final preparations for the 79th Torchlight Parade

Volunteers make final preparations for the 79th Torchlight Parade

Like years before, lawn chairs lined the downtown blocks since late Friday night. But, this year they were decorated with garbage bags.

“This is a huge event.being the largest military torchlight parade in the nation. Our folks here in Apokane support our military 100% and they don’t let a little rain stop them from cheering on our troops,” explained Vice President of the Torchlight Parade Dan Verheul.

It also didn’t stop car enthusiasts like Rachelle Stephens who brought her all-girls car club down to kick off parade day with the Cruisin’ the Falls Car Show.

The President of Miss Shifters All Girls Car Club shared, “we have a really great time. there are about 25 girls in the club and all love cars.”

The car show was where many who were eagerly awaiting the evening parade could be found- like
Lilac Festival Queen August Corpetts.

“Since I was about 5-years-old I’ve been coming to the Spokane Lilac Festival, I was born and raised here so its been a huge tradition for my family,” Corpetts said.

She’s dreamed of being a queen since she started coming nearly fifteen years ago and tonight hopes to inspire young girls like a past queen inspired her.

“When I was little, a director picked me up and let me high-five a queen and since then I was just hooked, I loved it,” Corpetts said.

Just a few blocks away volunteers, directors and past presidents were hard at work making sure the floats were ready to go.

“We finished the float, we built that. but we always have a few surprises in Lilac; someone falls out of the parade route or someone doesn’t get taken care of,” said former Lilac Festival President Arnold Weinman.

Weinman has been doing his part to make the festival a success for over twenty years and last night was honored with the Hall of Fame Award.

“Being retired military since the Torchlight Parade is really a celebration of veterans and active military, I appreciated that and want to do my part to see it continue,” he said.