Hastings’ Blossom Festival was first held in 1950.
It was the creation of Greater Hastings, an organisation established initially to provide an Easter attraction (The Highland Games, first held in 1951).
A Blossom Queen contest was added in 1957 to the Blossom Festival. The rules of the contest stated that contestants presenting themselves had to be aged between 18 and 28, unmarried and, among other things, possess “poise, personality, charm, beauty of face and figure, education, voice quality, speaking ability and be in good health.”
No swimsuit parade would occur and, as the promotional material stated: “This is not a bathing beauty contest – but a Blossom Festival quest.”
At the height of the Blossom festivals in the 1950s, about 60,000 people crammed the streets of Hastings to view the decorated paper crépe floats.
|Napier City float|
|Acme School of Driving float|
|Baldwin & Swanwick float|
|Bank of New Zealand float|
|Barclay Motors float|