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Sun shines for splendid Hastings Blossom Parade

Cynthia Bowers, Hastings deputy mayor (left) lines ups with past and present Blossom Queens ahead of this year’s annual Blossom Parade. With her are (left to right) Nicola Radonich (nee Hearn) from Waipukurau who held the title in 1964; Margaret Ross, Hastings, 1973; Jeanette Odell (nee Tinney), Havelock North, 1969; Vanessa Kirk of Hastings and this year’s Queen; Helena La Hood (nee Hannah), Hastings, 1960; and Shona Holdgate (nee MacDonald) now of Christchurch who was the very first Blossom Queen in 1957.

16 September 2013

MEDIA RELEASE – with photo

Sun shines for splendid Hastings Blossom Parade

The route for this year’s Blossom Parade on Saturday 14 September was lined with families, teens and seniors basking in the warmth of Hawke’s Bay spring sunshine as the 60 floats, bands, marching groups and other entertainers paraded past.

An estimated 25,000 attended, with a number taking advantage of the Blossom Breakfast on offer in the main street beforehand. Organised by the Hastings City Business Association, pancakes and bacon were sizzling until around 11am when the pancake batter ran out.

Five former Blossom Queens brunched with this year’s Queen, Vanessa Kirk, before they all took their places in individual classic cars at the head of the parade. The very first Blossom Queen Shona Holdgate (nee MacDonald) who held the title in 1957 was here from Christchurch as well as the last title holder, Margaret Ross of Hastings who had the honours in 1973.

Frimley School, a very regular parade participant, won the Best School float award while first time entrant Foundation for Youth Development took out the Community section first prize. HB Today won Best Commercial prize.

Each received a cash prize of $2000 and the overall People's Choice supreme winner, the Phillipine Community of Hawke’s Bay took home the annual trophy.

Judges, Wayne Walford, head of Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, and Nigel Roberts, Programme Director at EIT were looking for floats that embraced the Fruitbowl of New Zealand theme and that had an interactive component, along with vibrancy, colour and a wow factor.

Full Blossom Parade results are:

FirstFoundation for Youth Development
Runner upPhilippine Community of Hawke’s Bay
Highly CommendedBay City Rollers
Thai Buddhist Community
Kevin Watkins
FirstFrimley School
Runner upRascal’s Early Childhood Centre
Highly CommendedSt Joseph’s School
Flaxmere Primary
FirstHB Today
Runner upHB Racing
Philippine Community of Hawke’s Bay


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