Music, batons and banners filled downtown sky as the Junior Lilac Parade marked annual return

May 11, 2019

Dustin Peterson Sr. sprinted to three spots along the Junior Lilac Parade route Saturday to catch a glimpse of his son, playing the trombone in the Chase Middle School band, march past him as many times as possible.

“I’m full of joy. I’m giddy,” said Peterson, who was able to see his son march for the first time. “I took about 15,000 pictures and videos.”

The 68th annual Junior Lilac Parade featured elementary and middle school bands, youth groups and clubs as they marched through the downtown core. Sunny and warm weather greeted the marchers and thousands of spectators, many of who were proud parents snapping photos.

Chase Middle School had a costumed student run around the band in a Venus flytrap costume that matched the theme of this year’s parade, “Bands on Broadway.”

“Chase (Middle School) did a really good job overall,” said Peterson Sr.

The Junior Lilac Parade serves as a precursor for the Spokane Lilac Festival Torchlight Military Parade next Saturday at 7:45 p.m. in downtown Spokane. That parade hosts more than 100 groups of floats, bands and other organizations.

Peterson high-fived his son, Dustin Peterson Jr., when his band from Chase Middle School finished its march on the Post Street Bridge.

Tired from the march, 7th-grader Dustin Peterson Jr. said the march was “fun, really hot and loud.”

He’s played trombone for three years, but plans to stop when he’s done with high school. But in the mean time, his dad was beaming from seeing his march on Saturday.

“It’s all about promoting Spokane,” said Peterson Sr. after the parade. “It’s all about happiness.”