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New Lilac queen takes stage

Mon., Feb. 9, 2009

Chloe Crittenden chosen from among 14 hopefuls

Chloe Crittenden, a senior at Northwest Christian High School, has been selected as the 2009 Spokane Lilac Festival queen.

“Thank you, thank you so much,” Crittenden said to the audience Sunday at the Masonic Temple in downtown Spokane. “This is one of the greatest experiences thus far in my life. Go purple.”

Crittenden and her court of six princesses – Aimee Furrie, Mead; Alexis Green, Cheney High School; Hilary Bowen, Valley Christian School; Ashley Burke, Lewis and Clark; Izzy Taylor, North Central; and Natale Szabo, Medical Lake High School – were chosen during the Royal Court Coronation ceremony Sunday in which 14 girls vied for the opportunity to represent Spokane. The ceremony was the third in a weekend of events that included Family Night Friday, in which the girls practiced their speeches and met Lilac Festival board members, and one-on-one interviews on Saturday.

Each teen on the Lilac Court will receive a $1,250 scholarship.

The 14 candidates each gave a two-minute speech Sunday revolving around the theme “Attitude.” Crittenden posed the question, “What is the music playing in your head?”

She mentioned her father, Dan, who listened to upbeat music while he battled cancer.

She also talked about an older couple – the wife was in hospice care and the husband visited. Every day the two would hold hands and talk about the days they had in front of them that they would share. Then they would sing.

Crittenden then sang the beginning of “Amazing Grace.”

“Their song is a threshold of faith and optimism,” she said.

The seven girls who were not selected for the court each received flowers and a medal. They are Shanelle Coffey, Central Valley; Lindsey Peterson, Mt. Spokane; Rawnie Sleizer, Shadle Park; Kayla Fencl, Rogers; Chrissy Emerson, West Valley; Catherine Chestnut, Ferris; and Torie Nee, East Valley.

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