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Lilac Days – Basin

Basin was long ago nicknamed the Lilac City because of the large amount of lilac bushes that adorned Courthouse Square, private yards and main street. In 1978 an extremely cold winter killed off most of the bushes but the town still clung to its nick name. Since 1978 people have replanted bushes and some years the only bank in down gave out lilacs during their customer appreciation day.

In the early years of the town there were two celebrations in honor of what Basin was famous for....lilacs and beans. Still today there are two bean companies in town that buy beans from local farmers, a Lilac Festival and a Bean Festival, both of which appeared to have stopped in the 1960’s. In the early 2000’s the officers of the Basin Area Chamber decided to bring back Lilac Day. It consisted of a one day celebration that honored a woman who had made a difference in the community (Lilac Queen) as well as contest for Lilac Princess and Lilac Baby. Boxes were put out for people to nominate a queen. The woman with the most nominations is crowned that day. Princess and baby contest are live that day. The winners of the three contests represent the town during the Big Horn County fair parade in August.

Lilac Day was in May for the first few years after it was brought back since lilacs are typically at their best then. However, having been snowed on a couple of years in a row it was pushed back to the third Saturday in June.

Three years ago a second day was added and Lilac Day became Lilac Days. Friday night is typically a dance and a baseball game. Saturday starts with a run/walk followed by the main event which includes entertainment, games, food and the contests. Also the naming of the chamber’s business of the year.

Visit the Basin Area Chamber’s Facebook page for more info or call the chamber at 568-3055.

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