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Editor’s note: There is parking at the Abbot School. Residents should arrive early.
The Westford Kiwanis 50th anniversary of the Apple Blossom Parade takes place on Saturday, May 12, starting at 10 a.m.
It will begin at the corner of Graniteville Road and Main Street. The parade then proceeds on Main street, through the Westford Common and ends at the Abbot School on Depot Street.
This will be the largest Apple Blossom Parade in its history, said organizers. Almost 60 different groups and organizations will be participating, including a large number of honorees and dignitaries: the 2018 Kiwanis Person of the Year Gloria Tu Gilbert; the 2018 Apple Blossom queen contestants; Westford Police Department honor guards; The Westford Fire Department honor guards; and Westford selectmen.
The main goal of the Westford Kiwanis is to support the needs of the youth of Westford. Youth groups participate in the Apple Blossom Parade.
Over the years this tradition has expanded with hundreds of children marching each year.
Many Westford families have had three generations of children participate.
This year some of the youth groups marching include: Westford Scouting Troops and Cub Scout Packs, Westford Youth Lacrosse, Nashoba Youth Hockey Association and Westford Youth Soccer.
Leading the parade will be the combined Westford Academy and Middle School band. The popular Westford and Districts Pipes and Drum will also perform while marching.
There is a contest for best float and based on previous years experience both WestfordCAT and the J.V Fletcher Library will be in contention.
One way traffic and detours will redirect traffic prior to the start of the parade. Main Street will be one way from Flagg Road to Graniteville Road at 8:30 a.m. Graniteville Road will be one way from Main Street heading towards Cold Spring Road starting at 8:30 a.m.
Detours to allow the parade to pass through the center of the town will begin redirecting traffic at 8:45 a.m. at Boston Road at Hildreth Street, Main Street at Flagg Road, Graniteville Road at Cold Spring Road, Beaver Dam Road at Depot Street, Main Street at Leland Road and Depot Road at Cummings Road.
The Apple Blossom Parade represents a Westford tradition that goes back to the late 1930’s when an annual celebration of Westford’s apple orchards was initiated.
The Westford Kiwanis reintroduced this tradition in 1968, despite the decline of apple orchards in town. The annual event is meant to remind residents of the town’s heritage.