The Blossomtime Festival and its Grand Floral Parade are the oldest and largest multi-community events in the state, celebrating all that Southwest Michigan has to offer.
My fellow area legislators and I were proud to recently welcome the 2012 Blossomtime pageant finalists to the state Capitol. It was a special honor to host such an outstanding group of young people, which included Miss Baroda Casey Merrill, Miss Berrien Springs Cassondra Rudlaff, Miss Buchanan Kelsie Patrick, Miss Eau-Claire/Sodus Kate Nimtz, Miss Edwardsburg Meghan Monaghan, Miss Heart of Blossomtime Demi Overley of Marcellus, Miss New Buffalo Lede Stevens, Miss Niles Maureen Craig and Miss Three Oaks Heather Rowlison.
I am looking forward to participating in the Grand Floral Parade on Saturday. The parade will start at 1 p.m. in St. Joseph and continue its way through the city, across the Bicentennial Bridge and into Benton Harbor.
Miss Blossomtime Dillan Smith of St. Joseph, Mr. Blossomtime Agape Mpamira of Buchanan and their court will be among 120 entries featured in the parade.
The Grand Floral Parade will also include bands, floats, clowns, antique cars and tractors and the famed Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Drill Team, which is celebrating its 49th consecutive appearance leading the parade.
In addition to the parade, the 33rd annual Run for the Buds 5K Run/Walk will begin at 10:30a.m. on Saturday. It starts in Downtown St. Joseph and follows the parade route through Benton
Harbor and ends back in St. Joseph.
Winners in 15 different age groups, from ages 8 and under to 65 and older, will ride in the parade. All proceeds from the event help fund scholarships for outstanding young men and women. For more information please visit http://www.blossomtimefestival.org.
The 106-year-old festival is a wonderful family-fun event that helps attract thousands of visitors to our community in celebration of the beauty and rich agricultural traditions of Southwest Michigan.
I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a great Southwest Michigan tradition.