KENTVILLE – A normally grand procession became even grander this year, as 165 parade floats meant this year’s Apple Blossom Grand Parade was its longest ever.
Festival president Alxys Chamberlain could barely contain her excitement in the moments leading up to the parade, saying everything had so far gone without a hitch.
“There’s hundreds of people lined up, and the clouds aren’t bad at all – they’re even better for photography moments, if you think about it – and this is our biggest-yet parade. This is a good day,” she said.
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The rain held off and even as temperatures took an unexpected drop, people lined the curb, many warmed by socks, blankets and sleeping bags at the ready for when they needed to warm up.
The parade featured floats including once for each member of the royal party and was led by Queen Annapolisa LXXXVI Kendra Whitehead, formerly Princess Canning, who waved and smiled with her fur cape keeping her warm.
She was gathered with the rest of the royal party at Memorial Park once things wrapped up, and spoke of how the experience has been a life-changing one for her, calling it both “overwhelming and rewarding.”
The royal party began their day by attending the festival’s Children’s Parade, where they mingled with participants and watched as bystanders, something Whitehead said was a nice change of pace, though they all enjoy meeting new people.
Tomorrow, they’ll continue their royal duties as they travel to farms, mingle with people, and then on Monday will visit locations including senior living homes and schools.
Whitehead said her favourite part of the experience has been getting to know each princess and forging lasting friendships with the entire group. Despite the pressure, she feels ready to face her upcoming year of duties head on.
“It’s about representing the Annapolis Valley as a whole, creating a good role model, and being able to put the most in and get the most out,” she said.
“You’ve received a prestigious title, and you really want to get the most out of it that you can.”