If you can't be there in person, you can watch the Blossomtime parade live on TV. WSBT's Kristin Bien and Dustin Grove will host the parade live on SBT2 from 1 to 3 p.m., and it will be rebroadcast on WSBT at 12:35 a.m. Monday morning.
ST. JOSEPH – Blossomtime is the unofficial start to tourism season. The finishing touches continue on some of the floats for Saturday's parade and businesses are getting ready for the anticipated business boost.
It takes a lot of preparation, planning and patience to bring the Blossomtime Festival to life. Not just for the float designers and assemblers, but also for the people inside the Blossomtime office.
"This is the hugest parade that I can ever remember," said Joyce Vance, parade coordinator. "I've been here 20 years this year."
For 106 years the festival has brought hundreds of thousands of people to St. Joseph. The parade has been part of the festivities for 89 of those years.
Barricades were already out along the parade route Friday.
Area Businesses are getting ready too.
Kilwins will have extra hands and extra fudge and chocolate ready to go, Saturday.
"It's the beginning of the summer season," said Janet Dykstra, owner. "[It] brings in a nice crowd, a lot of nice people."
"Usually before the parade and after the parade, we're very busy," said Dykstra.
This is the first Blossomtime Festival since surveys went out last summer to registered voters and business owners in St. Joseph to find out what affect the series of parades and events have there.
Based on the results, the city pulled their funding for the Venetian Fest.
"I had very mixed feelings about that because I know people whose lives were involved in that for years," said Dykstra. "It was really very sad that it did come to an end."
Dykstra said the Venetian Festival did not help her business, but it didn't hurt it either. She added, that was not the case for other neighboring businesses.
Blossomtime, on the other hand, ranked well.
"We're not really sure how the public really views us," said Anna Abdelnour, Blossomtime Festival president. "I was surprised and ecstatic. About 93 percent of them were pleased with the festival and wanted to see the tradition continue."
It's not a surprise for Dykstra either.
Outside of July 4 and the Krasl art festival, Blossomtime is one of her top five business boosters.