PHOTOS: Creston Valley Blossom Festival celebrates 81 years of history

The popular community event is returning after a two-year hiatus

After a long two years of cancelled events and social distancing, the community is buzzing with excitement for the return of the annual Creston Valley Blossom Festival.

READ MORE: Creston Valley Blossom Festival returns for 81st annual celebration

Not only is the long weekend chock full of family fun, its also rich with history. The inaugural festival was held 81 years ago as a morale booster during the Second World War.

Back then, the military was the central focus, with many local members dressed in uniform to promote fundraising efforts.

“Originally, all of the events that raised money went towards victory bond campaigns, said Tammy Bradford, manager of the Creston Museum.

“As the war ended, [the funds] went to other community things. The fundraising side of it has since disappeared, and the events have changed a lot over the years.”

While events such as the contest to become Blossom Festival Queen have come and gone, the one thing that’s remained consistent is the parade.

“The parade was the stalwart, as it’s always been a part of the festival,” said Bradford.

The museum has been represented in the parade for many years with different floats and the 1947 Maple Leaf truck. Derry the Ford Model T, which turned 100 last year, has also made appearances in the past. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite make it through the whole parade route in 2018. His engine overheated and he needed a push the rest of the way from some bystanders.

READ MORE: Creston Museum celebrates Ford Model T’s 100th birthday

This year, the museum will showcase the restored logging arch in the parade. The 10-foot-tall wheels will be pulled by horses led by Wayne Harris, owner of Kootenay Meadows.

“It’s pretty cool to see how much is coming together and how many different things are happening this year, after all the restrictions lifting,” said Bradford.

“The festival is a really good way to explore parts of the community that you haven’t had a chance to. For me, this is the start of summer. It’s when things start kicking off and getting exciting.”

For more pictures from past Blossom Festivals, scroll down this page.

Also check out these blog posts with more history from the Creston Museum:

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An advertisement for the Victory Parade during the Second World War in 1945. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

An advertisement for the Victory Parade during the Second World War in 1945. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Contestants for Blossom Festival Queen in 1964. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Contestants for Blossom Festival Queen in 1964. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Blossom Festival Queen being crowned in 1966. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Blossom Festival Queen being crowned in 1966. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

A six-horse team and wagon in the 1986 Blossom Festival parade. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

A six-horse team and wagon in the 1986 Blossom Festival parade. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Blossom Festival parade in 1961. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Blossom Festival parade in 1961. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

A parade float passing down Main Street. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

A parade float passing down Main Street. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The first Blossom Festival Queen, Evelyn Nelson, in 1955. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The first Blossom Festival Queen, Evelyn Nelson, in 1955. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The first Blossom Festival Queen, Evelyn Nelson, in 1955. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The first Blossom Festival Queen, Evelyn Nelson, in 1955. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Derry the Ford Model T in 1982. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Derry the Ford Model T in 1982. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

An early Blossom Festival parade passing by Overwaitea. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

An early Blossom Festival parade passing by Overwaitea. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The apple from the 1942 Creston Builders Supply float later wound up on the roof of the Long-Allan-Long packing shed, which was in behind where the Chamber of Commerce is now. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The apple from the 1942 Creston Builders Supply float later wound up on the roof of the Long-Allan-Long packing shed, which was in behind where the Chamber of Commerce is now. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Members of Lower Kootenay Band at an early Blossom Festival Parade. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

Members of Lower Kootenay Band at an early Blossom Festival Parade. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

An early Blossom Festival in the 1940s at the Park Pavilion, in what is now Centennial Park. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

An early Blossom Festival in the 1940s at the Park Pavilion, in what is now Centennial Park. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The Prince Charles Secondary School Band in the 1980s (now Kootenay River Secondary School). (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The Prince Charles Secondary School Band in the 1980s (now Kootenay River Secondary School). (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The Swine Club float in the 1982 parade. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

The Swine Club float in the 1982 parade. (Courtesy of Creston Museum archives)

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