REPEAT FLOWERERS: Former blossom queens, from left, Colleen Twine (nee Bishop) 1966, Jeanette O’Dell (nee Timey), 1969, and Alison Tait (nee Hope) 1970, in Saturday’s Hastings Blossom Parade helped rekindle memories of the great parades of the past.
About 20,000 people lined central-city streets in glorious weather to admire and cheer the parade of floats and nine former blossom queens.
In the glory days from 1953 till 1973, when the parades were stopped, spectator numbers topped 50,000.
Festival chairman and parade coordinator David Fine said Saturday’s grand turnout, the fourth and best of the “new era”, was a sign that the people of the region loved the tradition and were supporting it.
However, the parade’s future could not be guaranteed when each year required a battle to get corporate sponsors.
“It’s not easy when there’s no return… at most they get a photograph or television clip,” he said.