board of directors announced Feb. 16 that the Grand Street Parade would be
moved to New Minas. A news release states that the locations of several other
events would be announced during the coming weeks on the festival website.
Snow said the Town of Kentville was advised of the change only two hours before
the news release from the festival went out. They have only three months notice
of the parade – one of the largest festival events - leaving town.
perplexed and concerned about this break in festival tradition,” Snow said.
Kentville has hosted the parade for 83 years and they’ve taken ownership of it.
Now “it’s gone.”
Snow said the
town is requesting a meeting with the festival board of directors to discuss
the change. Snow said the town has supported the distribution of festival
events across the Valley over the years and it wishes all municipal partners
success with their events.
hopes there is still time to have the decision to move the parade reconsidered.
She said the town is still hoping to host other events, such as the children’s
parade and fireworks. They hope to host a rink dance and a street dance too.
According to the
news release, the festival board of directors will be “taking small steps this
year to transition events to once again be held across the entire region.” Several
of the large events have been held in various communities across the Valley in
president Alxys Chamberlain said, as the festival board of directors, it’s
their duty to uphold the integrity of the festival and to proceed with an event
that captures its founding missions.
She said residents and communities from across the
Valley have spoken and the board of directors has listened. It is in the best interest of the
traditions of the festival to make these changes to ensure the Annapolis Valley
Apple Blossom Festival maintains its longevity and promotes all areas of our
events will begin to be moved around the Valley,” Chamberlain said. “We will be
releasing this information throughout the month of February.”
Citing confidentiality, Chamberlain said she wasn’t
able to release any further information about which events would be moved at
She said a large part of the reasoning is to spread
the benefits of the festival around, which goes back to the festival’s original
mandate and mission.
Snow pointed out
that there is an entire emergency measures plan that goes along with Kentville
hosting the parade. She wonders how a similar plan for New Minas will be
created in just three months. Snow said it seems there are many issues that
haven’t been considered.
Snow said she
hasn’t received any feedback on the parade being moved from any of the other
mayors and it doesn’t seem like there has been any consultation.
The festival was
introduced in 1933 to publicize the apple industry and scenic beauty of the
Valley and to help foster the development of local talent through various
festival runs from May 24 to 29 with the theme “Rooted in Tradition.”
information on the festival, visit www.appleblossom.com.