Thousands thronged the streets today at the annual Hastings Blossom Parade, on a warm and sunny spring day.

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was a "wonderful success".

"Look at all the people lining the streets - it's a wonderful celebration of spring," she said.

"It is who we are in Hastings. We love blossom."


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For 101-year-old Marjory Francis, Saturday's parade is a good chance to remember the glory days of the 1950's, when she would take her children to the parade.

Brittany House, where she resides, were a part of the parade and declared her their resident Parade Queen.

The first Blossom Parade was held in 1950.

The event grew in popularity, attracting people from all over the lower North Island.

But it wasn't all smooth sailing. In 1960 a brawl broke out following a postponement.

"Lots of people used to come from Wellington in trains and all sorts, " Parade Director, Lyn Mackie said.

"This particular year it rained and a few of the guys went to the pub. Something happened - I'm not quite sure what.

"They call it the Battle of Hastings. The fire people came out and turned the hoses on to everybody."

The Parade was put on hold in 1972 but re-established in the 1990s and today in 2018 its appeal is just as strong, attracting thousands of people from around the region.

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