Blossomtime Parade takes on St. Joseph, again

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Blossomtime Parade takes on St. Joseph, again

Luke Adent, Staff Writer

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Saturday May 4th brought crowds from all over the country to downtown Saint Joseph for the Blossomtime parade. People lined both sides of Niles avenue eagerly waiting for their school to pass. Schools from all over the country supported their float and school bands playing in the parade.


The Blossomtime festival has been in alive in Southwest Michigan since 1906. This year marks the 113th year of festival. The Grand Floral Parade has been the center of the festival since 1923.

Saint Joseph and Benton Harbor have been the host cities of the parade ever since. It starts in the St. Joe and makes its way over the Bicentennial bridge into Benton Harbor.


There were 120 units this year including floats, clowns, bands, old cars, unicycle teams, costumed characters, equestrian units, and antique tractors. This year marks the 56th consecutive year that the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team opened the parade.


Saint Joseph High school represented the state of Louisiana and their court stood on a float in the form of a steamboat. The St. Joe High School band also marched the full length of the parade playing the school’s fight song and various other tunes.


“We practiced our music for two weeks where we would march outside during our band class hour. The drum line also did some after school practices. During the parade we played a bunch of drum cadences and the fight song, but our main song was When the Saint Go Marching In,” Zoe Burkett drummer said.


The court also put a lot of time into creating the float; spending many weekends before the parade making sure everything would be ready.


“The parade was a great experience to represent our community. My favorite part was getting to participate in such a great tradition. Being Mr. Saint Joe is a lot of fun since I get to go to a lot of great events and meet some of the best young people in the area,” Mr. Saint Joe, Griffin Nowell, said.


As both royalty members talk about the events they have taken part in together, they were both thankful for having the opportunity.


“The parade was amazing, we were lucky enough to have good weather and so many people came out to see all of the parade units. My favorite part was seeing kids from our elementary schools go crazy when the St. Joseph float drove by. Before the parade our whole court had to work on our float. Last years float was already a paddle boat and our state this year was Louisiana, so we just altered it a little and added tons of purple gold and green to make it festive like Mardi Gras,” Sydney Brinney, Ms. St Joe, said.


The court enjoyed being part of the long standing tradition along with many other school in the county. Now that the parade the court will go onto serve the community and do various other activities together over the next year.