FROM THE FRONT PAGE
The cash shortfall was not the only disappointment for organisers with float numbers and princesses down on previous years.
Only five floats with princesses had been entered to date, he said.
Strong supporters like the Alexandra Fire Brigade, were not entering floats this year because members’ spare time and resources were taken up with their building upgrade, he said.
‘‘While that’s disappointing, it’s also generated some really great ideas and initiatives of how to maintain the procession’s vibrancy.’’
Organisers had tried to diversify and came up with the ‘‘florreys’’ concept – a cross between a float and an Alexandra New World- donated shopping trolley, he said.
Exhibitors decorated a florrey with their theme of choice.
The idea has captured people’s imaginations, particularly young people, had 21 entries had been received so far, he said.
‘‘It’s a sign of the times, when people are time-poor, so we’ve had to diversify by introducing less labourintensive options, to build on the idea that a float doesn’t necessarily have to made from crepe flowers.’’
There was $2000 in prize money and New World vouchers for the winner, he said.
However, the parade would not be the same without its crepe-clad classics, which would showcase favourites from previous years, such as the Stadium Tavern’s 2011 winner, the Buzzy Bees, and the Wobbly Ducks, which charmed parade-goers in 2012, he said.
‘‘They’re up for adoption and refurbishment by passionate individuals, so people should give me a call if they’re interested in taking them on.’’
The builder and retired dairy farmer Peter Roberts, said he would be happy to see his creations get another outing.
‘‘I’d be happy to give people a hand, to show them how they work, and it will be fun for people to dress them up. That’s what makes floatmaking such a community thing.’’
Another blow had been the loss of Truck Stops— the truck parade sponsors for 33 years. However, the main street would still be graced with shiny, wheeled beasts, he said.
‘‘I didn’t want to see it go, so together with ATL [an Alexandra trucking company] we’ve taken on the responsibility, and been in contact with various operators around the south. So yes, they’ll still be there with horns and bells on.’’
Festival committee chair Clair Higginson said the arrival of spring encapsulated the Alexandra Blossom Festival spirit.
‘‘For me, the key reason that blossom festival works is that the whole community involves themselves, and that the town still has the passion to make it happen.’’ ◗ People can make donations to the Alexandra Blossom Festival Fireworks account at the BNZ.