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.
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.
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: