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FLOWERS WILL BE HERE, LILAC FESTIVAL WON'T.

Byline: Charles F. Bostwick Staff Writer

PALMDALE - For the third year in a row, Palmdale's Lilac Festival has been canceled.

It was nixed the past two years by a lack of flowers. This year the culprit is the remodeling of the Palmdale Cultural Center.

``Unfortunately we have to cancel again,'' said Wayne Hoffmeyer, lilac committee first vice president.

Ironically, this spring seems to be shaping up for a decent lilac season, for the first time since El Nino departed in 1998. The intervening years were too dry, beset by sudden cold snaps or other weather quirks.

``In another two or three weeks, we'll have a fairly healthy crop of lilacs,'' Hoffmeyer said.

The lilac festival began humbly in 1947 with displays of lilac blossoms in the window of Palmdale grocer Gil Morse's one-man market. After Palmdale's incorporation in 1962, the lilac was adopted as the city's official flower at the urging of Domenic Massari, the city's second mayor.

In recent years, the festival typically attracted more than 2,000 visitors over the two-day run in the first weekend of April at the Palmdale Cultural Center.

Before the string of cancellations that started in 1999, the festival had been canceled once before, in 1994, when the damage to the Antelope Valley Freeway from the Northridge Earthquake would have made it difficult for visitors to come from elsewhere in Southern California.

Hoffmeyer said he worried that the Cultural Center remodeling job won't be finished for the 2002 lilac festival, but was assured by the city that it will be ready in time.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 21, 2001
Words:260
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