“And rosy and white on the wanton breeze,
The petals fall from the apple trees.”
– Francis William Bourdillon
This weekend marks the 77th Apple Blossom Festival here in the Annapolis Valley, a springtime celebration of our Valley traditions and agricultural heritage. When I was a little girl, this festival was always a treat we looked forward to. About an hour and a half drive from where I grew up, in a car that frequently misbehaved, the trip to Kentville was a highly anticipated, all-day affair.
I was mesmerized by the beautiful floats that were assembled in those days, most of them adorned with real flowers and miles of crepe paper and streamers. Of course, the lovely Princesses always accompanied the float from their respective towns. That was back in the day before the parade and the Festival became more commercialized. Back then, a cooler full of egg salad sandwiches and cold drinks and a container of homemade cookies seemed like a feast as we sat on a wooly blanket, waiting for the parade to begin. There were marching bands, baton-twirlers, and bagpipers that moved with military precision. There were clowns on bicycles and always a celebrity or two! I remember one year that Soupy Sales sat in the celebrity vehicle, and he looked right at me and waved. I was awestruck! :-)
I know my Dad has trays full of 35mm slides of these events. We plan a trip to their house this Sunday, and I must see if I can borrow them as I’d love to share those older agricultural festivities with you.