Blossomtime pageants postponed until September

Published 10:55 am Friday, February 12, 2021

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN – The Blossomtime Festival has announced its decision to postpone community pageants until after Sept. 1.
According to Blossomtime Festival President Anna Abdelnour, the organizers spoke with the chairmen of each local program and had lengthy conversations with the Board of Directors, and have decided this is the most responsible and respectful action they can take at this time.
“The festival wants to take this down time for what we would like to call a reset,” Abdelnour said. “We are hoping to be able to continue with some of our time-honored traditions this spring such as Blessing of the Blossoms and other events that we feel could be possible within the guidelines set during this pandemic.”
Abdelnour said the growth of the diverse young people it works with is especially important to all of the festival leadership.

“We all strive to create a ‘blue ribbon’ experience for each of our young kids,” she said. “With events limited and crowd sizes capped, we struggled to figure out what experience we could create for our new title holders.”
In an effort to include youth who did not have the opportunity to run for 2021, the Blossomtime Festival has expanded the age limit to 17 to 20 years old for the 2021-2022  pageant season only.
The health and support of the communities for not only the festival, but each other, are far more important than the risk, Abdelnour said.

“The festival is not going anywhere. We are strong and can survive this thanks to the support from our communities and sponsors,” she said.

The Blossomtime Festival is the oldest, largest, multi-community festival in Michigan, and is celebrating 115 years this year. The goal of the Festival is to provide young adults in southwest Michigan with mentoring opportunities, to learn about our rich agricultural history and to assist in making their educational dreams come true by providing scholarships

Each year the Blossomtime Festival crowns a Queen and King to celebrate the coming of spring. The first Miss Blossomtime, Catherine Burrell from Benton Harbor, was crowned in 1924, and the first Mr. Blossomtime, Jake Belter from the community of Stevensville, was crowned in 1997.

The 88th and current Miss Blossomtime is Faith Kittleson, from Berrien Springs, and the 24th and current Mr. Blossomtime is Jeremiah Sterling, of Benton Harbor.