It must be spring because plans are well underway for the 74th Creston Valley Blossom Festival. This four-day funfest runs May 15-18, from the opening ceremonies Friday until the last event, the children’s picnic in Centennial Park, on Monday, when the curtain comes down on a blockbuster weekend. Tuesday will be a day of rest for most of the town below the mountains.
The Blossom Festival has become a major event in the Creston Valley, offering something for everyone with a few new wrinkles thrown in to keep it fresh. For instance, the Friday night opening ceremonies have gone back to bringing in a well-known entertainer to headline the show. The show will feature David James and Big River, a group dedicated to preserving the music of Johnny Cash. The same night, the Rotary clubs will announce who the citizen of the year is. Local dignitaries will cut the ribbon to officially open the four-day weekend festival.
Saturday is the busiest day of the weekend. Early in the morning, the Creston Lions Club will be setting up shop next to Sunset Seed Co. with their big breakfast featuring two pancakes, two sausages, two fried eggs, juice and coffee for $6.
It runs from 7-11 a.m., just in time to have a hearty breakfast before catching the mammoth parade (last year’s photos here and here). It starts to assemble on the Prince Charles Secondary School parking lot at dawn. The parade, complete with marching bands, clowns, floats and antique cars, begins by the Creston Valley Motel and winds it way down Canyon to Northwest Blvd. until it reaches the Creston Valley Mall where it will disperse. In Creston, everybody, or so it seems, loves a parade.
The Creston Lions Club street fair co-sponsored by the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors will be in the Spirit of Creston Square beginning at 9 a.m. with a variety of goods on sale, and food booths as well. At the College of the Rockies you will find Kidapalooza, put on by Success by Six, offering fun games for the kids, including a bouncy tent.
The Root Beer Garden returns with the climbing wall in the south parking lot at Millennium Park. In the popular free concert in Millennium Park, six popular local bands will be taking the stage for individual performances. So far Peanut Butter and Jam is taking part, as is Gone Country.
The Lower Kootenay Band’s 25th annual Yaqan Nukiy Powwow begins with the grand entrance, running from 1-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-midnight in the LKB gymnasium. It will also go on Sunday from 1-6 p.m.
On Sunday, the Knights of Columbus western breakfast starts things off at the Holy Cross Catholic Church hall, where you get a complete breakfast for $6.
The Blossom 5K and 10K runs take place at Canyon Park. The afternoon continues with the classic car show on Canyon Street, this year featuring a Jaws of Life demonstration. Also on Canyon, the Creston Lions Club will have their food trailer set up featuring hot chili, hotdogs and chili dogs. Also on Sunday is the roar of the engines as the demolition derby gets underway at the old airport site in Kitchener.
Monday, the last day of the festival, begins with the Wings and Wheels event at the Creston Valley Airport, featuring a breakfast, classic car show and demonstrations of some of the planes.
The Lions Club children’s parade assembles behind CIBC at 10:30 a.m., then departs at 11 a.m. for the journey from 12th Avenue to 10th Avenue. Following the parade, the action takes place at Centennial Park where the kids get a free hotdog if they took part in the parade. The Lions also will be serving their popular burgers and a variety of soft drinks and water will be available for purchase. A group of Army cadets will be organizing games for the young folk and the 50-50 button draw along with passport draw for one night at Panorama Mountain resort, will take place to wind up the Blossom Festival.
On page 20 is the official program of events detailing all that is happening on this busy weekend. You don’t need to leave town — all of the action on the long weekend is right here!
—BY HUGH JOHNSTON