The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and residents are eagerly awaiting the Creston Valley Blossom Festival to arrive.
The 82nd annual celebration of spring offers fun activities throughout the long weekend from May 19 to 22.
“There’s something for everyone,” Andreas Kamp, committee president. “The past few years have been difficult for everyone. Last year, it was a relief to see so many people gathered together. That was something that we hadn’t seen for a long time, and we want to continue that this year with people just enjoying life in this beautiful valley.”
On Friday, May 19, the opening ceremonies will be start at 7 p.m. at the Kootenay River Theatre with comedian Brent Butt.
“We’re extremely excited for that. It’ll be a great show, and we’re hoping the community enjoys that,” said Kamp. “We’re getting close to selling out, with only a handful of tickets left.”
Tickets are available online at blossomfestival.ca or Sunshine ‘N Gelato for $40. The evening will also feature the Citizen of the Year Awards, as nominated by community members.
“I think that it’s just a great way to recognize the people who devote much of their life to the town of Creston and their volunteer work,” Kamp said.
Annual Parade and Street Fair
As always, the Blossom Festival parade will march down Canyon Street from Dairy Queen to the Creston Valley Mall. To kick it off, the Creston Valley Flying Club will perform a fly-by at 10:50 a.m.
This year’s theme is honouring our local volunteers, as depicted on the 2023 button that can be purchased from Creston businesses as a keepsake.
“Throughout COVID over the past few years, it’s really shown how much volunteers are needed in our daily lives,” said Kamp. “The Blossom Festival Committee is fully volunteer operated, as well as many other organizations within the valley. So we thought it would be appropriate to give them some recognition.”
While waiting for the parade to start, families can enjoy a delicious breakfast served by the Creston Lions in the former Sunset Seed parking lot (next to Seven Eleven) from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at $5 for kids,and $8 for adults.
The Lions volunteers will also be working the Street Fair, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Spirit Square (11 Avenue N. and Canyon Street). It’s a great place to find handcrafted goods and snacks made by local artisans.
While walking downtown during the parade, residents can also participate in the Teen Art Walk by viewing the pieces created by our local students at Kootenay River Secondary School. Art will be on display in the windows of different businesses throughout the weekend.
The Creston Valley Cruisers will be hosting the annual Drag Races at the Creston Airport on Sunday, May 21. Tickets cost $10 with the gates opening to spectators at 8 a.m. Lots of food vendors will be on site, and donations to the local Food Bank are being accepted.
Visit the Creston Valley Cruisers Facebook page for more information.
Children’s Parade and Picnic
On Monday, May 22 the children’s parade will start at Millennium Park at 10:45 a.m. followed by a picnic with hot dogs, games, and disc golf at Centennial Park.
“We encourage kids to dress up, bring their bikes, and just have fun with their parents,” said Kamp.
Families can also enjoy free swimming at the Creston and District Community Complex from 1 to 4 p.m.
Unfortunately, the carnival and amusement park will not be at the festival this year due to the lack of a suitable-sized location for the weekend.
However, there is much more in store at the festival including the Yaqan Nukiy Powwow, a free lunch at the Creston Legion, a barn dance, a cowboy race, the Blossom 5K and 10K runs, and more!
The Artisans of Crawford Bay will also be welcoming visitors on Sunday, May 21 to check out their wares.
“It’s a beautiful 70-minute drive down the lake,” said Kamp. “We want to make sure the entire Creston Valley is being represented in the Blossom Festival, so we encourage people visiting Creston to also explore Crawford Bay for the day and just enjoy themselves.”