Well I certainly don’t feel my age as I reflect on the Creston Valley Blossom Festival. There aren’t many festivals left in Canada that can claim being in operation for 71 years with no signs of slowing down. We have survived four wars and economic uncertainty, yet the festival continues to survive each year. We only have one paid employee who receives a very small honorarium. The rest of the festival hinges on the efforts of a hard working group of volunteers whose only objective is to put on an area wide event that will bring the community together each spring.
Each year, new events are introduced while at the same time the core events that have been successful over the years continue to flourish. We are grateful for the support of the people of the Creston Valley along with that of the business community, and various government groups who realize that the festival needs funding to sustain itself.
This year, to celebrate the 71st, two special events are being held. On Friday, the stage show will open with the Velle Weitman Trio, a fine fiddler accompanied by piano and bass. Later on the same stage, Wendell Ferguson will mark his return to Creston, showing off his exceptional skills as a guitarist. He will make you laugh, and make you proud to recognize another Canadian that is totally turned on by the Creston Valley.
The second event is being put on by the efforts of that hard working group of ladies known as the GoGo Grannies. Last year, the Blossom Festival’s 70-Plus Ladies Pageant featured a group of ladies over 70 competing for the title of queen. Two runners up were also chosen. It was a big hit.
This year, the GoGo Grannies are back but this time they are going after the men with the 50+ Gentlemen’s Challenge. Some lucky members of the community will be showing off their skills doing a hobby project, a baking project, and a modelling of outfits depicting their dream occupation. This event, like last year’s, will be a hoot. The pageant takes place Saturday afternoon at the Creston and District Community Complex, where they will be serving tea, sandwiches and a special dessert.
Like other years we have tried to put something for everyone in the festival and you can look for the Creston Flying Club’s flyover at the beginning of the parade on Saturday morning (weather permitting) and then don’t forget to visit the Creston Valley Airport on Monday for their open house and brunch.
This is one weekend you don’t need to leave town to have a good time. Join your neighbours and friends at the Blossom Festival and raise a toast to 71 years of success with more to come.
Blossom Fest — still the best!
— BY HUGH JOHNSTON