KENTVILLE, NS — A dedicated group of volunteers are preparing for the first Apple Blossom Festival since 2019.

The fast-approaching festival is scheduled for May 25-30.

“It’s very exciting,” said President Logan Morse. “But there is also a lot of stress involved. There is a lot to do in a very short time. …

“We packed six months of work into three.”

That work will pay off as people flock to Kentville for the opening ceremonies on May 25th.

This year’s festival marks the 88th edition of the event, which began in 1933 when a committee of Annapolis Valley residents convinced the provincial government of the value of a blossom festival as a tourist attraction.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be the first festival since 2019.

In February, the board decided to hold the festival after the province announced its phased approach to lifting restrictions.

This year’s program includes favorites such as a dance party, vintage car show, tractor train, movie nights, fireworks show, children’s parade and the grand street parade.

And while the countdown to the festival has gone from months to weeks and soon to days, there is still time to get involved, whether that be as a vendor, parade participant or volunteer. For more information, visit

“The more the merrier,” Morse said.

One group that has already signed up to take part in the big street parade is the Shriners.

Shawn Buchan, a Cambridge resident and the Potentate of the Philae Shriners of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, said Shriners have been involved with the parade for many years and it is one of many parades the group attends annually in the region. He said the Apple Blossom Parade held a special meaning for him.

“It’s one of the bigger festivals,” he said. “It’s nice that everyone from the area and from all over the province is coming to our hometown.”

need to know

A look at the schedule for the 88th Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival, taking place May 25-30. This year’s theme is Back In Bloom.

Wednesday May 25th

  • 7pm – Opening Ceremony in the Main Street Station ballroom in Kentville.

Thursday, May 26th

  • 4:00pm-8:00pm – Food Truck Party, Louis Millet Community Complex parking lot, New Minas.
  • 6-8pm – Ciders and Sliders – a tap takeover, Maritime Express Cider Co. in Kentville.

Friday May 27th

  • 7:45-9:30pm – Apple Blossom Ghost Walk, by Valley Ghost Walks. Meet at the steps in front of Main Street Station in Kentville. Cost: $25 for adults, $20 for students. Offers for groups of four, six and eight people.
  • 7pm – Fireworks – Blossom Bash with Mark Riley and his band, Memorial Park in Kentville.
  • Dusk (around 10pm) – Fireworks, Memorial Park in Kentville.
  • Twilight – Apple Blossom Movie Night, Valley Drive In in Cambridge. $10 per truckload.

Saturday May 28th

  • 10am – Children’s Parade, downtown Kentville.
  • 11:00-13:00 – Carnival for Kids, Center Square in Kentville.
  • 12:45pm – Road Crew Apple Blossom Ride, Grand Street Parade Route.
  • 1pm – Grand Street Parade, Highway 1, New Minas Connector to Memorial Park in Kentville.
  • 7pm-11pm – Apple Blossom Main Street Party with DJ and Roxy & The Underground Soul Sound, Main Street Station parking lot in Kentville. cost, $10. An event for over 19s.
  • Dusk – Apple Blossom movie night. Valley Drive In in Cambridge. Volunteer donation, proceeds go to Coldbrook and District Lions Club.

Sunday May 29th

  • 10am-3pm – Apple Blossom Antique Car Show, Coldbrook Lions Club in Coldbrook.
  • 10am – Apple Blossom Tractor Pull, Northville Heritage Farm in Centreville. cost, $10.
  • 10:00-22:00 – Callister’s 10 Year Birthday Celebration replay. Callister’s Country Kitchen, Coldbrook.
  • Twilight – Apple Blossom Movie Night, Valley Drive In in Cambridge. $10 per truckload.

Monday, May 30th

  • 13:00-15:00 – Executive Candidates Meeting, Callister’s Country Kitchen in Coldbrook.

Parades help the organization stay visible and that has been more difficult since COVID with many parades being cancelled. It makes this year’s Apple Blossom Festival Parade special.

“It’s nice to get back out there,” Buchan said. “It’s also the start of our parade season. It’s the first of the year. … Everyone is excited.”

People will see Buchan in his brother Shane’s orange and purple Polaris Slingshot during the parade.

leadership meeting

Due to the later decision to hold the festival this year, some communities could not register candidates for the leadership competition, so it will not take place this year.

A reunion is scheduled for May 29th. Morse said it was “really important” to have an event to continue the longstanding tradition of leadership competition.

“We thought it was a great idea,” he says. “It’s something we’d probably do in a future leadership competition as well.”

Chantal Peng will represent the festival to its reigning Queen Annapolisa from 2019.


The festival has attracted about 50,000 people in recent editions and reports of economic impact say it is worth millions of dollars to the region.

While fuel prices have risen to record highs in recent weeks, Morse doesn’t expect this year’s festival to have a major impact.

“I think … there is so much catching up to do for large-scale in-person events like this that it will overcome a lot of the pricing issues.”

Buchan has a message for people wondering if they should get involved in events like this year’s parade.

“By all means jump in, please,” he said. “We have to get back to normal, whatever our normal will be.”

He named the mainstays of the parade and festival in the Kentville area and throughout the Annapolis Valley.

“It’s great for the economy and it’s great to get back out there and spread our wings.”

Jason Malloy is the managing editor of the Annapolis Valley Register. He can be reached by email at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @JasonMa47772994.

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