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Parade 2016 - what a boomer!

A crowd of 10,000-plus turned out for the annual Blossom Parade on Saturday (September 10) and the weather stayed mostly fine, if a little chilly.

Near 50 floats lined up to wend their way from in front of the Hastings District Council building in Lyndon Rd, through Hastings, Heretaunga and Russell streets to Queen St, then, via Nelson, Heretaunga, Market and Eastbourne streets, back to Lyndon Rd.

The theme of this year’s parade, organised by Creative Hastings, was Buds, blossoms and blooms.

Creative Hastings manager Pitsch Leiser was very happy with the number, quality and diversity of the floats. He told media: The strength of this year’s parade is that it brings together the community, and you can really see the diversity of Hastings . . . It is the once occasion every year when you really get a sense of the wider community.”

The range covered countries, religions, ethnicities, sports and education organisations, business and dance groups.

The winners of the categories were: Best community float: Philippine Community of Hawke's Bay; Best natural float: Association of Sri Lankans in Hawke's Bay; Best artificial float: Hastings District Council; Best dressed float: Falun Dafa‎ Hawke's Bay; Most unusual: Waicare; Best commercial: Smile Haus; Best school: Rascals Playcentre; People's choice: Bay Batucada.

The parade dates back to 1950, when the first Blossom Festival, including the parade, was put on by the newly formed Greater Hastings Inc, to celebrate the start of the fruit season.

4 October 2017

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