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posted: 4/30/2010 12:01 AM

Lilac Time opens this weekend in Lombard

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  • Lilac Time opens this weekend in Lombard.

      Lilac Time opens this weekend in Lombard.
    Bev Horne/Daily Herald, May 2000

 
 

Come for the flowers. Stay for the fun.

Run a 5K with your mutt. Sip Shiraz under the stars. Or rekindle your childhood love of croquet (remember mallets and wickets?).

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Lilac Time is Lombard's annual two-week festival in Lilacia Park, a celebration of spring set against a backdrop of 1,200 lilacs and 25,000 tulips. Events include concerts, plant sales, a sculpture show, historic tours, beer and wine tastings and the popular Mutt Strut 5K.

Lilac Time kicks off today with the Little Lady Lilac Ball dad-and-daughter dance and ends Sunday, May 16, with the Lilac Parade. "Honor Your Heritage" is this year's theme.

The Lilac Queen will be crowned in a ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 1. The 2010 Lilac Princesses are Corinne Horner, Kelly Lahr, Julie Sipek and Rachel Stelter.

Every year there's something new added to the festival lineup, and this year it's croquet.

A traditional six-wicket tournament, organized with help from the International Croquet Society's Chicago chapter, runs 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13. Sign up in advance at (630) 629-1885.

"Croquet is kind of coming back in style and we're trying to ride that wave a little bit and hearken back to the days of old," said Jeanne Schultz Angel of the Lombard Historical Society.

Traditionally, players of the generally genteel Victorian-era lawn game wear white. Lilacia Park players may wear any color they want.

 

History of the event

The first Lilac Queen wore a crown fashioned from silver spoons donated by the ladies of Lombard.

Adeline Fleege, the daughter of the town's grocer, was carried through Lilacia Park on throne by four caped footmen.

Instead of a parade, spectators sat through a lengthy pageant - 200 costumed players, three full acts, a maypole and medieval dancing.

It's all part of the story of "Lombard's Lilac Time" (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99), by members of the Lombard Historical Society. The 128-page volume is part of Arcadia's Images of America series.

Tom Fetters, past president of the historical society, edited the book. He also worked on chapters on Col. William R. Plum, who brought the lilacs to Lombard from Europe, and Jens Jensen, the famed landscape architect who designed the public space.

Most of the photos are from the Lombard Historical Society's collection.

Photos are reprinted with permission from "Lombard's Lilac Time" by the Lombard Historical Society. The book is available from the publisher online at www.arcadiapublishing.com or by calling (888) 313-2665. The books can also be found at local bookstores and online booksellers.

 

Here is a preview of Lilac Time activities. Admission to the park is free, but there is a charge for some events. Registration may be required for some events.

Visit www.lombardparks.com or call (630) 620-7322 for information.

Friday, April 30

• 6:30 p.m. Little Lady Lilac Ball

Saturday, May 1

• 1 p.m. Lilac Queen coronation (If it rains, the event moves to the Lombard Community Building, 433 E. St. Charles Road.)

• 2 p.m. Lilac Heritage Tour; tours meet at the Victorian Cottage, (630) 629-1885

• 3 p.m. Concert in the Park: Salty Dogs

Sunday, May 2

• 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lilac Time Art and Craft Fair in downtown Lombard, sponsored by the Lombard Area Chamber of Commerce and the village. Entertainment on the stage at Park Avenue and Michael McGuire Drive includes The Dance Center at 11 a.m.; Lombard Park District dance team at noon; A Cappella Underground at 12:30 p.m.; introduction of the Lilac Court at 1:30 p.m.; Sky Centers Martial Arts demonstration at 2 p.m. and the Lombard Leapers at 3 p.m.

• Noon to 4 p.m. Lilac Cafe

• 1 p.m. Concert in the Park: Impact of Brass

• 2 p.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

Tuesday, May 4

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

Wednesday, May 5

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

Thursday, May 6

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 3 to 7:30 p.m. Lilac sale and Lilacia Park plant sale

Friday, May 7

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lilac sale and Lilacia Park plant sale

• 6:30 p.m. Lilac Ball at the Carlisle, (630) 627-5040

Saturday, May 8

• 8 a.m. until sold out: Lilac sale and Lilacia Park plant sale

• 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. DuPage Invitational Sculpture & 3-D Art Show

• Noon to 4 p.m. Entertainment in the Park

• 2 p.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 3 p.m. Walking tour of Lombard; tours meet at the Victorian Cottage, (630) 629-1885

Sunday, May 9

• 10 a.m. Concert in the Park

• 1 p.m. Concert in the Park: Bill O'Connell and the Chicago Skyliners

• 2 p.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

Tuesday, May 11

• 10 a.m. Storytime in the Park meets at Library Plaza

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

Wednesday, May 12

• 10 a.m. Storytime in the Park meets at Library Plaza

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 1 p.m. Old-fashioned tea party

• 4 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Lilacia Park pastel sketching tour

Thursday, May 13

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 2 p.m. Teddy Bear tea

• 4 to 7 p.m. Croquet tournament in Lilacia Park

Friday, May 14

• 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. 2010 Lombard Kiwanis Housewalk featuring distinctive Lombard homes, $25 tickets, (630) 261-5310

• 11 a.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 7 to 9 p.m. Beer tasting

Saturday, May 15

• 8 a.m. Lilac Time Mutt Strut 5K & 1 Mile Walk

• 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Lilac Pancake Breakfast

• 1 to 3 p.m. Kid's Day in Lilacia Park

• 1 p.m. Lombard Park District performing troupe

• 2 p.m. Concert in the Park: Dave Rudolf Beach Party

• 2 p.m. Lilac Heritage Tour

• 3 p.m. Walking tour of Lombard

• 5 p.m. Lilac Time auction at 5 p.m., (630) 629-2630

• 7 to 9 p.m. Wine tasting

Sunday, May 16

• 1:30 p.m. Lilac Parade, (630) 415-2079

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