Many spectators perched under the cooling shade of tree branches to watch the 52nd annual Harvest Festival Parade roll through downtown Kensington on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a family tradition for Haley Forward and her four daughters to visit P.E.I. from Nova Scotia for the Harvest Festival.
“We come here every year because of our family in Kensington, and this parade is even picked over the Gold Cup Parade (Old Home Week in Charlottetown) because it’s our family tradition. We sit in front of the post office every year, but last year the parade was cancelled because of the downpour,” said Forward.
For the first time in 51 years, the parade was cancelled in 2018 because of torrential rain.
But this year there was no rain on the parade.
Highlights included horses, ponies, goats, a yellow school bus for a 1979 class reunion, popular fire trucks, and tractors, and the Shriners went all out with a colourful train, wagon, and clown.
“The local businesses go all out with their floats and it’s great to watch. I also love the Shriners and their small cars. We’ve always come to participate in these festivities, it’s just fun to watch, and there’s a great sense of community spirit,” continued Forward.
The Mammoth Street parade, sponsored by Bell Aliant, celebrated the theme “Picnic at the Park.”
Each year, the parade that attracts anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 spectators, has a different theme.
“We have around 100 and 120 floats or entries every year, and today has been perfect because the weather cooperated. In the rink, it’s a little cooler. We have bouncy castles, balloon artists, mini-golf, and a variety of other festivities taking place throughout the day,” said Robert Wood, the organizer.
“This is like a homecoming and the community really gets behind the event. There’s good corporate support, the local businesses go all out with creativity on their floats, and everyone has a good time. We have another three days of festivities and would love everyone to come,” he said.
The event concludes Wednesday evening with the Miss Community Gardens 2019 Crowning Ceremony.