February 5, 2009 in Washington Voices

Fab 14 compete for Lilac Court

Queen, six princesses will be named Sunday
By The Spokesman-Review
 
Jesse Tinsley photo

The 2009 Lilac court candidates representing the South Hill and West Plains are, from left, Alexis Green of Cheney High School; Natale Szabo of Medical Lake High School; Ashley Burke (seated) of Lewis and Clark High School, and Catherine Chestnut of Ferris High School.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

If you go

The 2009 Lilac Royalty Coronation will be Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Spokane Masonic Center, 1108 W. Riverside Ave. Tickets are $10 in advance and are available through TicketsWest, 325-SEAT or at the Spokane Lilac Offices, 3021 S. Regal St., Suite 105. They will be available at the door for $12.

As little girls sitting along the streets of Spokane for the Torchlight Parade, they dreamed of a chance to ride the float, wearing lilac and waving to the crowds. This weekend, 14 girls will compete for the chance to ride that float, either as a Lilac princess or queen.

It’s a process that has been under way since October. Every high school in Spokane County can choose a candidate to represent it.

“Every school has their own process,” said Karene Garlich-Loman, vice president of royalty of the Spokane Lilac Festival Association. Once the schools select their representatives, a panel of five judges – two from the Lilac association and three from the community, interview the candidates and whittle them down to 14.

The Fab 14, as they are called, have been taking classes in modeling, flag etiquette, hair and make-up and speech. This year’s dining etiquette class was canceled because of the snowstorm in mid-December.

They also have been spending time getting to know one another.

On Friday, the girls will meet for family night at the Spokane Masonic Center, where they will be asked an impromptu question. On Saturday, the candidates will meet with the judges for one-on-one interviews.

It’s all in preparation for the big event Sunday afternoon. The girls wear evening gowns, and each will give a two-minute speech on this year’s theme: Attitude.

One of the girls will be selected as queen, and six as princesses.

The candidates are Hilary Bowen of Valley Christian School; Ashley Burke, Lewis and Clark; Catherine Chestnut, Ferris; Shanelle Coffey, Central Valley; Chloe Crittenden, Northwest Christian; Chrissy Emerson, West Valley; Kayla Fencl, Rogers; Aimee Furrie, Mead; Alexis Green, Cheney; Torie Nee, East Valley; Lindsey Peterson, Mt. Spokane; Rawnie Sleizer, Shadle Park; Natale Szabo, Medical Lake; and Isabella Taylor, North Central.

Here are the South Side and West Plains candidates for the Lilac Royal court.

Alexis Green

Cheney High School

17 years old

Have you always wanted to be a Lilac princess or queen?

To be completely honest, I think that I have wanted to be a queen or a princess since I was little. I used to be a little princess in the SCOPE parade, and I loved it, and I knew that one day I wanted to do it for a larger parade. I wanted to be able to be a role model for all the little girls in the crowd. I want to be able to show them that if you put your mind to something, then you can achieve it.

Where are you planning on attending college?

I would like to go to Oregon State University, but I think I am going to stay here in Cheney and go to Eastern Washington University to get my nursing degree or my early childhood education degree.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy snowboarding, singing and hanging out with my friends and my family. I love to bake and cook. I also like to swim, play basketball, soccer and volleyball. Camping is also something I enjoy very much, anything that has to do with the outdoors no matter what season it is.

What Spokane public figure would you like to have lunch with?

Myles Kennedy. He grew up in the Spokane area. I would like to have lunch with him because he is the lead singer for Alter Bridge, and they are one of my favorite bands that I love to listen to. If I were to go to lunch with him we could go anywhere. I would be too excited to even notice where we were eating.

Will you have a lucky charm with you when you are at the coronation?

Yes, I will have a lucky charm with me on the day of coronation. A few days after my dad’s death, my mom got me and my sister necklaces that have a guardian angel on them and on the back it says, “Love Dad.” I have yet to take it off since that day, and so I know the day of coronation my dad will be there with me.

Catherine Chestnut

Ferris High School

17 years old

Have you always wanted to be a Lilac princess or queen?

I have wanted to be in the Lilac Court since I watched my first Torchlight Parade and saw the girls ride by on the float, waving and smiling at the crowd. It would be an amazing honor to represent Spokane, as I’ve represented Ferris in the Fab 14.

Where are you planning on attending college?

I have applied to six different colleges/universities and I’m waiting to hear back from them. I’m interested in majoring in history and learning Korean; they all offer these programs.

What are your hobbies?

I’m a varsity cheerleading captain at Ferris and a member of the Canterbury Belles, which is a women’s vocal ensemble at Ferris. I love to sing, dance and spend time with family and friends.

What Spokane public figure would you like to have lunch with?

I would like to have lunch with (local arts supporter) Elizabeth Welty, whom I admire for giving back to Spokane in so many ways, especially the arts. A picnic at Riverfront Park would be ideal.

Will you have a lucky charm with you when you are at the coronation?

I have a ring that was a sixteenth birthday present from my parents. I wear it every day, and it’s a reminder to both be myself and have confidence in myself.

Ashley Burke

Lewis and Clark High School

18 years old

Have you always wanted to be a Lilac princess or queen?

Yes. When I was a little girl, I would go to the parades and watch the purple-clad girls in awe. I also met a princess at my friend ’s birthday party when I was younger.

Where are you planning on attending college?

Washington State University in the fall, studying pre-physical therapy.

What are your hobbies?

I love to hang out with my friends and family. I also love to play the piano.

What Spokane public figure would you like to have lunch with?

I would love to have lunch with Morihiko Nakahara, the resident conductor of the Spokane Symphony. I would like this because I have always loved to listen to the symphony play. I would take him to Twigs, because I love the restaurant and I work there.

Will you have a lucky charm with you when you are at the coronation?

My lucky charm is my sister, Daisy, who is just one year younger than me. She will definitely be there at coronation to support me.

Natale Szabo

Medical Lake High School

18 years old

Have you always wanted to be a Lilac princess or queen?

Yes. Well, at least since freshman year. Annie Caldwell was a princess (from Medical Lake) that year. It was the first time I really learned about the roles of the Royal Court and all the opportunities it provided. I knew something like this would be perfect for me and that I’d have a blast with it.

Where are you planning on attending college?

I’m all set for Western Washington University next year. I’m going to major in communications with a focus on broadcast journalism and minor in political science. Hopefully I can add in some Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies classes, too.

What are your hobbies?

I’m a girl of the theater and I’ve grown up performing on stage. I love to act, sing and dance. I’m really involved in my school, too, so that takes up most of my time. Other than that, Laser Quest (be careful – I’m known to take at least fourth place every time), taking my overly-excitable toy poodle on adventures, hiking, camping, traveling, going to music festivals, eating sushi, tennis and Ultimate Frisbee.

What Spokane public figure would you like to have lunch with?

Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick. She was a speaker at a conference I was at in October, and she was hilarious. She’s got a great story and she’s funny, driven and a firecracker. I’d take her to Madelene’s downtown for some baked mac and cheese.

Will you have a lucky charm with you when you are at the coronation?

I don’t need a physical “lucky charm” as long as my dad is there to watch. He’s my lucky charm.


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