Popular children’s parade has a long history at Apple Blossom Festival

Wendy Elliott
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Twin sisters Kayla and Kiera Akeeagok from New Minas show off their costumes at the Apple Blossom Festival children's parade.

Children in costume will start lining up behind Kentville town hall on May 31, well before the 10 a.m. start to the popular children’s parade.

The parade launch is also a chance to meet current princesses and Queen Annapolisa. Registration starts at 9 a.m., then children parade around Centre Square.

Generally, the parade is so long it nearly meets itself as the children parade through the festival birth-town of Kentville. Some families return year after year and spectators line up three and four deep around the parade route.

There is a good deal of history connected to the Apple Blossom Children’s Parade, which is in its 81st year.

Originally, it took part on the front drive of the Cornwallis Inn and featured children with decorated doll carriages and small animals.

The late Georgie Palmeter Phinney, who was Queen of the Apple Blossom Festival of 1946, recalled that

it rained during the children’s parade that Saturday morning, so the youngsters and their pets circled the ballroom at the inn. Phinney remembered that a goat or two left a deposit on the ballroom floor.

Long-time organizer and participant Greg White estimated that up to 500 people often take part. He is proud of the fact the parade is the longest running children’s parade in the country.

There are generally seven categories in the parade. They include: organization, community, majorettes, historical, theme, storybook and group.

This year, Lisa Mitton is directing the Grand Street and Children’s Parades, along with David Cunningham and White.

Organizations: Apple Blossom Children, Cornwallis Inn

Geographic location: Kentville, Centre Square, Grand Street

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