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Transport to Delight the 2022 Hastings Blossom Parade

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Spring has sprung early in Hawke’s Bay with trees laden with blossom already appearing, heralding the start of the growing cycle and preparations for this year’s Blossom Parade as part of a weekend-long Blossom Festival.

In a change from previous years, the 2022 Blossom Parade will be on Saturday, September 24, at 1pm. This move to a later date and time will hopefully ensure that participants and spectators will enjoy both warmer temperatures and all the additional activities being planned around the main event.

As a FREE community event, the Blossom Parade has been around for nearly 70 years and has seen generations of families enjoying the decorated floats, bands, dancers and community groups. A day to share with smiles and laughs aplenty, the parade is one of the largest free events in the Hawke’s Bay calendar and is a true celebration of our multi-cultural community.   

Arts Inc Heretaunga organises the Blossom Parade, with core funding from Hastings District Council and each year creates a parade theme. This year’s theme, ‘Transport to Delight’, is inspired by earlier Blossom Parades when special trains were scheduled to bring visitors from Wellington, with even the train’s boiler decorated to mark the occasion.  The theme is open to interpretation for the community groups or individuals who would like to get involved and we’re hopefully going to see lots of blossom cars, bikes, trains, balloon, boats, roller skates, skateboards, and other flights of fancy, that will Transport us all to Delight!

This year the parade route is changing to take account of the new street furniture and landscaping that has recently been completed, and the new route will give fantastic parade viewing all around Hastings CBD. Please study the new route so that you can select your spot and aim to be there around 12:30pm.

The parade is scheduled a week before the school holidays so we’re hoping to see a lot of young people entering this year with either their schools, community groups or their whanau. The organisers would love to see kids dressed up and wearing something creative in the parade! 

Blossom Parade director Lyn Mackie said this year’s theme was timely and lent itself to a colourful, vibrant and expressive parade.

“The Blossom Parade is about celebrating our community, our diversity, and the amazing expression of the many cultures within it.  We would love to see you bring your own interpretation of Transport to Delight. We encourage dance, music, lots of movement and noise, which makes for an exciting parade both to watch and to participate in.”

There are a number of ways people can get involved:

  • Build a float as a business or community organisation
  • Decorate a car, motorbike, bicycle or pram to promote your organisation
  • Be part of a performance/dance group
  • Encourage your school, sports team or social club to participate
  • Form a New Orleans-style marching band or Brazilian Samba band
  • Dress up with your friends and family and join the parade
  • Sponsor an entry.

As well as a lot of fun and laughter there is also a lot of time and energy that goes in to preparing an entry for the parade, be it building a float, decorating a vehicle, rehearsing a routine or piece of music. This year we are excited to be able to recognise these efforts and are able to offer substantial cash prizes with five different entry categories to choose from.

                                                       Winner                        Runner Up

  • Best float                                 $1,500                         $500
  • Best performance                     $1,500                         $500
  • Best blossom use                    $1,500                         $500
  • Most Unusual                          $1,500                         $500

A people's choice award will voted for via The Hits with voting limited to one vote per phone  

  • People’s Choice                       $2,000                         N/A

Arts Inc Heretaunga chairperson Andy Heast said the team was delighted to provide a theme that can honour the past and look to the future and hopes to see some innovative ideas on future transport being shown in the Blossom Parade this year. 

“The Blossom Parade is a fantastic opportunity for our community to come together with creative collaborations in one of the biggest cross-cultural celebrations in Hawke’s Bay. Coming together as a united community during the most challenging of times really lifts the spirit and we’re so looking forward to greeting friends old and new to come and enjoy the fun.”

If you would like to participate entries are open until September 7 and you can fill out an entry form from the website www.artsinc.co.nz or call on 878 9447, or email info@artsinc.co.nz.  We will be happy to receive your entry and provide any advice or even offer you some financial support to build your entry if you are a community group.

To learn more visit Hastings Blossom Fest

The Hastings Blossom Parade is funded by the Hastings District Council.

31 August 2022

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