Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival
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|Apple Blossom Festival|
|Begins||May 24th, 2017|
|Ends||May 29th, 2017|
The Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival is an annual agricultural and heritage celebration held in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley usually the last weekend of May. The festival draws many tourists to the area to take in a number of festival events and local culture while also enjoying the beautiful scenery of the valley with apple orchards in full bloom. The Festival is currently celebrating its 85th year - "Rooted in Tradition."
Established in 1933 to promote the Valley's traditions and agricultural heritage, Valley communities from Windsor to Digby come together to celebrate this special event each year. The Apple Blossom Festival has become one of the most important community festivals in Atlantic Canada.
The very first apple blossom parade was hosted in the town of Kentville in 1933.
Early promoters of the festival intended for the event to recognize the scenic beauty of the Valley and the historic background of the apple growing industry, as well as to provide an opportunity to foster and develop local cultural talent through participation in festival events. As a result of change and diversification of the region's growing economy, the festival now showcases a variety of local businesses while continuing to promote local cultural talent and highlight the area's scenic beauty.
Community involvement in the festival has always been its strength. Preparation requires organizing 300 volunteers to plan and participate over a time frame of several months.
Major events such as the Grand Street Parade, Children's Parade, Coronation for Annapolisa, and the Apple Blossom Concert are complemented by numerous social events, such as dances, barbecues, and old-style home-cooked dinners at church and community halls, and other social affairs in towns and villages throughout the length of the valley. During the Festival, Kentville's downtown core is alive with patrons at several local taverns and pubs, and is a traditional place to catch up and renew acquaintances.
The Apple Blossom Grand Street Parade is one of the largest parades in Canada, drawing close to 100,000 people along the route, which runs from New Minas to Kentville and includes marching bands and various floats sponsored by community groups, local businesses and organizations. There are also floats for candidates in the annual Leadership Competition. The candidate selected as Annapolisa represents the area for the coming year at various events. Annapolisa is traditionally crowned on Friday evening, at Acadia University U Hall. In addition to the Grand Street Parade, The Apple Blossom Festival boasts the largest Children's Parade in Canada, taking place on Saturday morning before the Grand Street Parade.
In the early 1990s, at Michelin's request, the Thursday night fireworks show which had always kicked off the weekend long Apple Blossom Festival, was moved to Saturday night. Since then it has alternated between Friday and Saturday night.