Calling all floats – prizes and fun galore

Published: Wed 14 Aug 2013 11:29 AM
Calling all floats – prizes and fun galore
Princesses and pirates eating apples, three little pigs and apple sauce, a market stall selling flowers and fruit - these are just three of the floats underway to reflect the Fruit Bowl of New Zealand theme for this year’s Hastings Blossom Parade being held on Saturday 14 September.
All around the region, blossoms are being crafted out of crepe paper, polystyrene, and cardboard; while one school is aiming to have an apple created by every one of its 560 pupils. And in packhouses and large sheds, trailers are being transformed into creations to carry their floral tributes to this region’s horticultural strength.
Organisers are hopeful that all of the 50 to 55 entries will embrace the blossom and spring theme. One float will be selected to transport the first Blossom Queen for 40 years who will be crowned the weekend prior. Entries are now open for the Blossom Queen contest at
Last year’s school category winner Flaxmere Primary School is keen to repeat the victory and collect the $2000 best schools prize. The same prize money is up for grabs in the corporate and community sections, with the overall supreme winner also receiving a trophy.
“It was our first time entering and it gave us all a huge sense of pride,” says Robyn Isaacson, principal. “Each child in the school will create a flower to go onto the float; it contributes on celebrating who we are and building a stronger school.”
Rascals Early Childhood Centre teacher Dave Forbes is a long time float creator and says that this year the theme has been suggested by the children’s current focus – of pirates and princesses. Teachers, parents and children are busy making flowers and props, and practising their pirate songs to sing during the parade.
At St Joseph’s Primary School, the theme is Three Little Pigs Oink! Children are creating a blossom each at home and then getting the chance to glue their flower onto the props and float.
“We enter every second year and alternate with our own school production. It takes a lot of work but the children thoroughly enjoy it,” says Beata Troup, mother of three blossom makers and part of the school’s Friends and Family group responsible for the entry.
Frimley School is another regular that alternates with a school production to enter each second year. Although assistant principal Pauline Carswell says they are only at the beginning of the build, but they will be ready. “The last week before the parade is very busy and heaps of fun.”
Amongst the business entrants is the Hastings City Business Association that is using the opportunity to promote its CBD night markets that kick off on Thursday 7 November.
The Blossom Parade starts at 1.30pm and for two hours wend its way up Warren Street, along Queen Street to Nelson Street and then up two blocks of Heretaunga Street West before heading a short block down Market Street, onto Eastbourne Street to cross the railway line, and ending in Russell Street beside Civic Square.
The parade is part of a Hastings Blossom Festival programme that is being compiled and includes concerts, library activities, competitions and a Blossom Block Party on Saturday morning of the parade.
Float entry details, Blossom Queen entry forms, route map and other details can be found at
Parade map

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