Talker gets some lilac love from the Democrat and Chronicle


The new Lilac Queen (2005-2006) Martika Velazquez,15, gets crowned in Rochester on Thursday April 28, 2005. D & C, Carlos Ortiz

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Sarah Taddeo

After having read A modest proposal for the Festival’s troubles. Bring back the Lilac Queen. And add a King about our idea to curb teen mayhem at the Lilac Festival, the Democrat and Chronicle‘s Sarah Taddeo interviewed me yesterday.

As seen below and online (What happened to the Lilac Queen?), Sarah did a nice job.


Bag that contained the May 13th, 2016 edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Excited, I was going to get my name in the paper! But this morning when I retrieved that wet blue bag lying outside the front door, heartbreak. The article only appeared online.

Back in the day it was pretty commonplace to get your name in the paper. But as the world has gone digital (hence publications like Talker) and print has shrunk (Freetime recently discontinued its print edition), getting your name in the real paper has become rarer.

Paradoxically, these days, even as print readership declines, making print has became the gold standard of success.  But thanks Sarah, and maybe next time, actually in that soggy blue bag.

Whatever happened to the Lilac Queen?

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YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR FIRST PRINT Providence Business News, May 25th, 1987 from Says who you can’t get rich being a writer

One of Rochester’a largest festivals used to crown a local teen or woman as the Lilac Queen until the annual tradition’s final year in 2012.

In 1930, local woman Christina Blackwell was crowned the very first Lilac Queen. Since then, the queen would appear at the Lilac Parade and other festival events.

In recent years, girls ages 15 to 18 in Rochester area high schools could apply to become the Lilac Queen, but festival officials decided the concept “had run its course” after new festival management came on board in 2013, said Larry Staub of Monroe County Parks.


LAST TIME I GOT SOME D & C PRINT from Harriet Beecher Stowe fits the bill September 2nd, 2015

However, local writer David Kramer with Talker of the Town, an online magazine, thinks the Lilac Queen, with the addition of a Lilac King, could help prevent future disturbances at the festival among minors, such as several fights that broke out over the weekend.

“Let’s make something positive,” he said. He proposed to allow high school students to elect their own King and Queen, or maybe several royal couples, and to have the elected students act as good role models interacting with attendees throughout the festival.

“Some people said it’s passe or chauvinistic, but if they were the cool kids voted in by the high school kids, would they have had an impact?” he said.


Living Lilac. On the Road.

A modest proposal for the Festival’s troubles. Bring back the Lilac Queen. And add a King