Sunshine is in the forecast for the annual Apple Blossom Parade this weekend.
The event began in 1926 and is always held the first Saturday in May. According to Apple Blossom Parade Executive Director Michelle Wolfe, the parade theme this year is “Under the Big Top.”
“It celebrates the circus,” Wolfe said. “We thought it would be a fun, creative way to entertain parade goers this year.”
The parade starts at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at Noyes Boulevard and Frederick Avenue and ends around 5th Street and Felix Street. In addition to the parade on Saturday, other events will be going on over the weekend including a barbecue contest and a Discover Downtown event. Brian Myers is the President of First Saturdays Downtown St. Joseph Inc. and one of the organizers for Discover Downtown. Myers said First Saturdays is a year-round monthly event that started small three years ago and now includes a group of 30 businesses.
“Our main focus is promoting arts and music within the community, but with an emphasis on the small businesses that make up the downtown community,” Myers said.
First Saturdays typically include live music, art openings, sales and promotions. Twice a year, they sponsor an event at a park. This weekend Discover Downtown coincides with the Apple Blossom Festival. According to Myers, people can watch the parade from downtown at Felix Street Square and afterward, the St. Joseph Public Library will sponsor a kid’s area and there will be vendors with food, art and crafts and live entertainment including bands from St. Joseph, Kansas City and Des Moines.
“It’s a big weekend,” Myers said.” There’s just lots of different things going on (and) it’s going to be a really warm weekend. Usually the weather cooperates and people are tired of being cooped up in their homes in the winter. This is symbolically, in St. Joseph, the weekend where everybody starts to get out of the house and do things and we’re thrilled to have them come downtown and participate in our event.”
The barbecue contest begins with the People’s Choice Awards at 6 p.m. Friday night at the Civic Center Park and includes live entertainment. For more details on all the events this weekend, visit the First Saturdays or Apple Blossom Parade Facebook pages.