Celebrate southwest Michigan at the Blossomtime Festival

Published 8:00 am Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Blossomtime Festival and its Grand Floral Parade are the oldest and largest multi-community events in the state, celebrating all that Southwest Michigan has to offer.

The 2015 festival is nearly here, with the Blessing of the Blossoms set to officially kick off the celebration on Sunday, April 26 with the theme “Rhyme Time with Blossomtime.”

Every year, my fellow area legislators and I proudly welcome the year’s Blossomtime pageant finalists to the state Capitol. This year’s court includes Miss Blossomtime Kalabrya Gondrezick of Benton Harbor and Mr. Blossomtime Lucas Nelson of Bridgman.

Hosting these outstanding young people is always a highlight of the year — mainly because it is rewarding to see such great ambassadors of Michigan’s Great Southwest and its people.

Blossomtime is a wonderful family event that helps attract thousands of visitors to our community in celebration of the beauty and rich agricultural heritage of Southwest Michigan.

The 109-year-old festival will conclude with the 90th annual Grand Floral Parade on Saturday, May 2.

I will be participating in the parade, which will start at 1 p.m. in St. Joseph and will travel two and a half miles to Benton Harbor. As the festival’s signature event, the Grand Floral Parade regularly draws 250,000 spectators to see 125 parade entries, featuring floats, bands, antique cars, clowns, equestrian teams and – of course – the Blossomtime Queens and Kings.

I also look forward to running the 36th annual “Run for the Buds” 5K Run/Walk with two of my three children. The event travels along the parade route beginning at 10:30 a.m. on May 2.

Other highlights include the Queens’ and Kings’ Goodwill Tour from April 26 to April 29 and the Youth Parade on April 30.

It all makes for good family fun, so I encourage you to come out and enjoy a great Southwest Michigan tradition.

I especially want to thank all the volunteers, participants and vendors who make the festival successful each year. It truly could not be possible without your efforts.

For more information please visit www.blossomtimefestival.org.


Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents Southwest Michigan.