(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The annual Apple Blossom parade, a long time St. Joseph tradition, has been canceled due to the ongoing cornavirus pandemic.
“This has been a difficult decision, but we have to take the safety of all participants in the parade and pageant into account,” said Executive Director Michelle Wolfe. “This is the first time in my 20 years with the Apple Blossom that I wasn’t starting a parade at 9:30 a.m. the first Saturday in May.”
Organizers said ongoing social distancing and coronavirus guidelines forced the cancellation of both the 2020 Apple Blossom Pageant and Apple Blossom Parade.
Apple Blossom President Ken Rosenauer said that the parade has been on the first Saturday in May for as long as he can recall, at least 50 years.
“When I was a growing up in St. Joseph,” he said, “the parade was always on a Friday, and schools in town and across the area would let out early.”
The pageant had been scheduled for March 21 and then rescheduled for May 15. The parade had been scheduled for May 2 and then rescheduled for June 6.
In a new twist, Apple Blossom leaders have decided to move the annual pageant to the fall to crown the 2021 royalty. The new pageant date will be Nov. 14, with the rehearsal the day before on Friday, Nov. 13.
“Moving the pageant to the fall will give our royalty and their attendants a better chance to participate in some community service and some great community events and to promote the Apple Blossom Parade for about six months,” Wolfe said.
The royalty will still ride in the parade on the first Saturday in May, assist with the new theme announcement in the summer and then crown the new royalty in the fall.
The new pageant deadline will be Nov. 1. Entry forms and additional information are available online.
Wolfe added, “We are looking forward to a grand 2021 parade celebrating the birthday of the St. Joseph News-Press — the folks who have been telling St. Joseph’s stories for 175 years — just a little late.”
“Telling Our Stories” will remain the 2021 Apple Blossom Parade theme.
People can check with the Apple Blossom website at www.appleblossomparade.com to get additional updates, as well as all forms needed for entries in both the pageant and the parade.
In addition, people can call the Apple Blossom phone line at 816-261-0422 for information.