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New president elected for Lilac Festival

Tue., Sept. 13, 2011, 5:47 p.m.

Next year’s Spokane Lilac Festival has a new president and a new theme.

Directors of the Spokane Lilac Festival elected Hal Patton, 50, as president for the 74th annual Lilac Festival and Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, which takes place in May.

Patton, who has lived in Spokane since 1996, has been involved in the festival for the past four years. His daughter was elected Queen in 2007.

He said he wanted to participate because he strongly believes in the festival’s mission – to honor the military, recognize Spokane’s youth, and showcase the region.

He said this year’s theme is “dream and reach for the stars.”

“It’s a twofold theme, in that it is a tribute to our military, who defends our American dream,” he said. “And a challenge to our youth to dream big and work for those dreams.”

Patton is a general manager at Northwest Bedding, but keeps busy with Lilac Festival duties throughout the year. He and other Lilac Festival officials travel around the northwest and parts of Canada representing the Spokane region in parades; they participate in about 20 parades between April and October.

“Were ambassadors of Spokane,” he said. “That’s what we like to call ourselves.”

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