Blooming good time enjoyed by all

By Victoria White

1 comment
CREATIVE FLOURISH: Wearing symbols of spring, bands marched alongside floats in the annual Hastings Blossom Parade. PHOTO/WARREN BUCKLAND
CREATIVE FLOURISH: Wearing symbols of spring, bands marched alongside floats in the annual Hastings Blossom Parade. PHOTO/WARREN BUCKLAND

Buds, blossoms and blooms brightened up the streets of Hastings on the weekend, when spring was welcomed with the annual Hastings Blossom Parade.

Around 50 "imaginative and eye-catching floats" participated in the parade, which has been running since 1950.

On Saturday, creative floats made of flowers and other materials - from Hastings District Council's red and yellow buzzy bee, to the Philippine community of Hawke's Bay's large colourful rooster - were part of the festival to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Although light spots of rain fell throughout the morning, they were not enough to dampen the spirits of an estimated 10,000 people, who lined the streets to watch colourful displays fitting the 2016 theme of "buds, blossoms, and blooms" float past.

Although the wet weather meant some entrants could not participate, Creative Hastings community arts development manager Pitsch Leiser said it had been another successful parade.

"The strength of this year's parade is that it brings together the ethnic community, and you can really see the diversity of Hastings," he said.

Citing the contingent of ethnic groups who participated, from the Association of Sri Lankans in Hawke's Bay group, to the Hawke's Bay Indian Cultural Centre, he said it was the "one occasion every year when you really get a sense of the wider community".

Alongside other floats, bands, and groups, they marched from Lyndon Rd, down Heretaunga St East, to finish near the Hastings City Art Gallery.

"People covered the whole parade route," Mr Leiser said.

Following the parade a prizegiving was held in Civic Square to reward the time, commitment, and effort of some groups across seven categories.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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