Cavalcade to start the day
About 120 floats will take to the streets of Hastings on Saturday to mark 100 years in the history of the city.
The parade, which has been called ‘‘the cavalcade of the century’’ by Hastings public relations officer Mr Murray Pinfold, will open the year-long activities celebrating Hastings’ centenary.
The cavalcade starts at 9.30am. It will be a comparison between the old and new with many businesses and groups displaying vintage equipment with modern counterparts.
Floats will group in the Nottingley Rd area of Hastings before starting off on their way to the Tomoana Showgrounds.
They will move along Omahu Rd, and Heretaunga St and into Railway Rd. From there the floats will go into Queen St, Russell St and back into Heretaunga St to Willowpark Rd and Collinge Rd.
Mr Pinfold said the route was chosen because it would cover a wide area of Hastings and would cause the least disruption to traffic.
Hundreds of people have been working on floats for the parade.
Some floats will be up to 18.2 metres long with one entry of 10 floats measuring 150 metres altogether.
A 4.5 metre high windmill filled with fresh flowers will be the Dutch community’s contribution to the parade.
But the cavalcade will be led by the F. L. Bone float, representing one of the oldest firms in Hastings which is still trading under the same name and run by the same family. The firm has been trading in Hastings for 89 years.
Special visitors and VIPS invited to Hastings for the celebrations will be given a bird’s eye view of the parade from the balcony of the Assembly Hall.
The visitors, leading politicians, local body representatives, Maori represcatatives, former Hastings mayors and a delegation from the Chinese city Guilin, will be able to watch most of the day’s celebrations.
The cavalcade has been finely tuned so that it will move effortlessly through Hastings streets.
Mr Pinfold has organised the floats and their order in the parade and has also arranged for a large number of marching teams and bands, which will not take part in all of the cavalcade.
“We have specific points along the route where marching teams and bands will be changing with some leaving the parade while others joining up,’’ he said.
Some old farm machinery would not be able to last the distance and would also be changed along the route.
The floats would arrive at the showgrounds between 11.45am and 12.15pm and would do a circuit of the oval before parking at the western end where people would be able to get a closer look at them.
Ministry of Transport and civil defence officers will be in charge of traffic control along the route.
Photo caption – 1959: The Hastings Blossom Festival has reached a peak and all vantage points were taken to see the highly-colourful floats. Cinderella’s pumpkin coach was the champion of champions that year. for centennial year, the blossom parade is being revived. It will be on September 8.