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Hastings Blossom Parade

We enjoyed classic Hastings Blossom weather on Saturday – that wide azure blue sky, sunshine, birds, just a hint of a breeze, the scent of jasmine, freesias, pink plum petals. The streets of Hastings lined with 20,000 spectators in full festive mode cheering on 58 flower-covered floats, samba, brass and marching bands, giant puppets, inventive contraptions, fabulous costumes, trailed by the popular foam cannon  – soapy fluff lifting off like apple blossom against the sky.

"Look at the people lining the streets! It's a wonderful celebration of spring and who we are in Hastings. We love Blossom!" Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst

Organised by Arts Inc. Heretaunga (the HBAF team), this is one of Hastings’ big annual events with a tradition that goes back to 1950. Here’s a great wee 'local focus' doco clip that tells this story, and follows two local schools and a 101-year-old Blossom Queen in their preparations for this year’s parade, along with the event itself.

An event that can only be described as magnificent...surely unmatched anywhere else in New Zealand, if not the world.  (Letter from an 'awe-struck bystander' to HB Today)

You may have spotted the shoal of fish shimmying alongside the Arts Festival float. They are part of Chloe Loftus' street performance work, Out of the Blue, which she will be bringing up from Wellington as part White Night in October.

We have put our orders in for more classic Hawke's Bay weather over Labour Weekend when our arts festival is in full flight. Traditionally, the weekend for the first sea swims of summer, staking out new tomato plants, candy floss and sun burns at the A&P show. It will also, as of this year we hope, become tradition for a fiesta weekend of arts, literature and performance works, and inclusive, participatory community events across Hawke's Bay. 

Along with the explosion of activity in White Night, Hawke's Bay Readers & Writers, and at least 12 shows to choose from, Waiohiki Arts Village will be in festive swing with three different artisan maker markets over the long weekend and a night of culture, craft and fire for the whole whanau on offer, with kapa haka performances, fire sculpture, raku ceramics and fire pit pottery firing.

We're already as excited as our mayor!

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