Lilac royalty runs in Lombard's Kott family home.
Kendall Kott, a 17-year-old senior at Glenbard East High School, was selected Saturday as the 84th Lilac Queen during an elaborate coronation at Lilacia Park. She was selected from a court of five Lilac Princesses. Her older sister Kelsie Kott was a Lilac Princess in 2012.
Fitted in her new crown, sash and deep purple cape, Kott addressed the audience from atop the park's waterfall feature.
"I'm incredibly lucky to have grown up in a village that takes so much pride in who we are and what we stand for," she said. "To be able to say you are proud of the town you live in is such a rare occasion nowadays."
Kott said she looked up to her sister as a Lilac Princess vying for the crown just two years ago and was honored to create another great memory in Lilacia Park.
"Going to smell the lilacs in Lilacia Park in the spring time is such a liberty of ours that I take for granted every year," she said. "Every year I have to remind myself that we are privileged to live in this village."
Kott will be attending Millikin University in the fall to study music education.
Terri Soehrmann, chairwoman of the Lilac Queen program for the Lombard Junior Women's Club, said the customary ceremony has transcended generations because it gives young girls positive role models and the community a time-tested way to begin Lilac Time festivities.
"Each one of these incredible young women has the qualities to represent Lombard well," Soehrmann said. "They not only excel academically but manage to find time to share their time and talents in the community through community service and volunteering."
Included in Kott's volunteerism resume are roles within the Lombard Junior Women's Club TLC Children's Cancer Camp, the Salvation Army and the American Cancer Society Society Relay For Life. She is a member of the Glenbard East National Honor Society and an academic all conference student.
2013 Lilac Queen Megan Cotteril thanked Lombard residents for the "best year of her life" and shared a bit of royal advice with this year's court.
"You will forever be a princess so keep your head held high and always be confident in yourselves."
Lilac Time continues throughout Lombard with events planned through Sunday, May 18. A full schedule is available at lombardparks.org.