On Saturday, 15 Sept 2012, we were able to walk down the street from where we live and watch the annual Hastings Blossom Parade. What we enjoyed most were the variety of ethnic groups who participated. It was really done on a small-town budget, but the weather was good, the crowd was big, and I got some interesting pictures:
The parade began with a dragon, quite long, with several men maneuvering it.
Popular with the older kids, but these "tall, walking sticks" frightened a lot of the toddlers. One even came after Sister Farnes!
The Indonesia representatives
No flags from the USA, but one of our most recognized "celebrities" was there!
Thai & Buddhist Community
Carrying their flags along with the New Zealand flag.
There were two groups of bagpipers in the parade, both very impressive.
And here's a group from Sri Lanka. One of our favorite elders, Elder Seneviratne, is from Sri Lanka...and he refers to himself as "our son born to another mother".
Car with lots of Sri Lankan sayings; guess we'll have to ask Elder Seneviratne what they all mean.
Sri Lankan community
Large balloon bike from St. Matthew's (Anglican) Primary School
This is the Hastings Mayor, Lawrence Yule
We see a lot of people from India here in Hastings. All of the nationalities we have met are very kind to us.
The float from India
Marchers from India
The ladies from India carried a colorful "May Pole"...and you can see that their native clothes are colorful and vivid, too.
Probably enough parade pictures; there were also lots of local floats, mostly from schools. The parade ended with a fire truck spraying vast amounts of foam into the crowd, and the people loved it...we understand it's part of the annual tradition at this parade. Oh, and even though it's called the Blossom Parade, flowers are very expensive, so any flowers we saw were made from paper. But it was hometown fun, and we enjoyed it.