80th annual Spokane Lilac Festival Armed Forces Torchlight Parade draws crowd

For the 80th year, the Lilac Festival is hosting the largest Torchlight Military Parade in the nation. The streets of downtown Spokane will be filled with bands, floats military and equestrian groups, drill teams and dancers, cars and more.

The parade will feature Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum at the 2018 Grand Parade Marshal.

"As a US Army flight surgeon, Cornum became one of two American service women taken prisoner in the 1991 Persian Gulf War against Iraq, her resilience demonstrated that women soldiers could serve in expanded roles in wartime.  Cornum’s memoir about that experience was published to critical acclaim in 1992.  In 2003, in the second conflict between the United States and Iraq, she was the first female commander of a military hospital, the largest outside the United States, treating many soldiers wounded in Iraq.  When new military roles were opened to women in 1993, Cornum’s service in the Gulf War was credited with proving that women could serve in important roles and brave the dangers of war," the Lilac Parade wrote on its website. 

 This year's parade will also feature National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning as the Honorary Grand Marshal.

"The Festival is honored to welcome our Honorary Grand Marshal from Ferris High School, the 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning.   Mandy teaches at the English Language Development Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School." 

Parade coverage will be streaming live right here on KHQ.com as well as on SWX and KHQ's Facebook page starting at 7:30 p.m.

For a full line up on this year's parade, click here

For additional information, click here: http://spokanelilacfestival.org/

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