The official website of the 2014
Apple Blossom Festival
St. Joseph, Missouri

-o- The third oldest apple blossom festival in the United States -o-

Site guide

2014 logo

Pageant details/entry forms

Pageant workshops

Parade details/entry form

2013 and earlier parade pix

Parade history

Previous parade themes

HintonThe 2013 grand marshal was Jeff Hinton, director of bands at Missouri Western State University. He is riding with his wife, Kayla.

Queen attendants Lilly Tighe (left) and Cassandra Jiminez shoot a selfie before the parade.

St. Joseph Councilwoman Pat Jones waves a flag at spectators as the vintage fire truck rolls out from the parade staging area.

BeefA parade participant with National Beef Leathers sports one of the more interesting caps of the day.

ClownsA pair of Moila clowns chat while waiting to join the parade marching down Frederick Avenue.

HeiderThe Heider family, stationed once again at the northwest corner of Noyes Boulevard and Frederick Avenue, where our photographs have captured them since at least 2008.

Apple Blossom Media Coverage

2013 Apple Blossom

2012 Apple Blossom 2011 Apple Blossom 2010 Apple Blossom

Wave Boxing
Welcome bright spots on a damp, gray morning:
The wonderful expression (at left) accompanying the wild outfit, and the broad smile and raised glove of the female boxer.

Welcome to the official website of the Apple Blossom Festival -- including the pageant and the parade. Here you'll find everything you need to connect to the Apple Blossom.

Just click on one of the links at the right to find what you're looking for.


Please vote now for the Apple Blossom as Best Parade in the 2014 News-Press Readers' Choice awards. Just click here.

Parade Time and Route
The Apple Blossom will roll out from Noyes Boulevard and Frederick Avenue beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 3. The route runs west on Frederick to 9th Street, then south one block on 9th Street to Felix Street, and finally west on Felix to 5th Street.

Staging for the parade: All units form up on Northeast Parkway. To enter the staging area, drive to North Ashland Avenue, at the intersection of Summit Avenue and Northeast Parkway. From there units drive down Northeast Parkway and begin staging, or forming up. The units turn at Corby Pond and come up Northwest Parkway to Ashland and Noyes, then on to Frederick. There is no through traffic around Corby Pond, which is blocked to traffic at both Corby Parkway and 22nd Street on the west.

Parade Grand Marshal chosen
In recognition of the Apple Blossom Parade’s 90th anniversary, a 98-year-old St. Joseph resident will lead the parade on May 3.

Dr. Frances Flanagan, a retired Missouri Western State University English professor, will be grand marshal.

“I’m delighted that Dr. Flanagan has agreed to serve as our grand marshal,” Apple Blossom President Ken Rosenauer said. “She’s as ‘St. Joe’ as they come, having lived here all her 98 years. For us at the Apple Blossom, it doesn’t get any grander than that.”

She was born in St. Joseph and has resided in Buchanan County her entire life. She attended St. Joseph Junior College, Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kan., and the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where she earned her doctorate.

Dr. Flanagan began teaching in St. Joseph public schools and eventually joined the faculty at Missouri Western. She taught in the English, Foreign Languages and Journalism Department and served as its chair. She retired in 1980. Since then she has remained very active.

She is a lifelong photographer, who captured stunning images of sights in her frequent travels, both in this country and abroad.
She remains an frequent writer, with a history article being published in the May 2014 issue of “The Wine Cellar: An Anthology of Precious Blood Spirituality,” a journal of the Society of the Precious Blood.

She wrote “Missouri Western State College: a history 1915-1983,” which was published in 1983 upon the retirement of Dr. M.O. Looney, the college’s president.

She is a member of St. Francis Xavier Church here and wrote “St. Francis Xavier Parish, St. Joseph, Missouri, 1890-1990.” Dr. Flanagan is a Precious Blood Companion. Companions are lay people who work closely with ordained Missionaries of the Precious Blood, the order of the priests who serve the St. Francis Xavier parish.

Dr. Flanagan’s name was drawn from among a half dozen 90-year-old residents who were nominated by friends or family. The drawing took place at this year’s Apple Blossom Pageant on April 5.

Parade theme
The theme for the 2014 Apple Blossom Festival is "Celebrating 90 Years." 1st Street Graphics once again designed a strong logo to support that theme. We encourage all parade participants to design their entries to reflect the theme. We're snatching up photos of old parade floats, especially those from the heyday of the Apple Blossom, such as some displayed on the Parade details/entry form link above right. Find one that you'd like to use as a model for your 2014 entry.

Looking back
The 2013 Apple Blossom Parade is history. The weather was lousy. It was cold and damp. Yet, the Apple Blossom featured some of the best floats we've seen in many years.

Parade route
This long shot looking west on Frederick Avenue late in the morning shows how gloomy the day was.

An Apple Blossom Facebook post from Michele Janorschke on the morning of the parade said it well:
"Apple Blossom 2013, ah, in a few years we will look back and say, 'Remember that year when it snowed a few days before and the queen and her court wore long johns? Seemed more like a Christmas parade.' Remember folks, the day is yours to enjoy, I hope you enjoy it!"

Thanks to all who participated, either with an entry or as a spectator. St. Joseph area media were wonderfully supportive; we needed you, and you came through. And we especially appreciate the police officers and the public works employees of the city of St. Joseph. We couldn't have done it without all of you.

2013 Parade Winners
While we believe all our entries are winners, the judges chose the following. Congratulations!

Best of Parade: Allison's School of Dance

Johnson Controls
First Runner-Up: Johnson Controls

Figure Skating
Second Runner-Up: St. Joseph Figure Skating Club

Best Theme: Freidel's Lawn and Landscaping

Best Band: Savannah Marching Savages

2013 Parade Photos
Photos of the 2013 parade -- including those on this page -- have been posted. Use the link at upper right to take you to a slideshow. If you find images you'd like to download and print, just click on the "View all" button below the slideshow.

The Apple Blossom is St. Joseph's most popular parade. How do we know?

Well, you picked the Apple Blossom as best parade/festival in 2013 Readers' Choice voting, sponsored by the St. Joseph News-Press. In fact, we've won that award 14 years in a row, making us eligible for the Diamond Award.


Bottom line, this is your award. You're the ones who make the parade what it is St. Joseph's own rite of spring. We just come along for the ride.

The Apple Blossom staff and volunteers are proud to continue to serve you, the citizens of Greater St. Joseph, and to do all we can to keep this St. Joseph's best and your favorite parade.

Contact us if you are interested in serving on the Apple Blossom Committee or if you have questions not answered on the site. The Apple Blossom phone number is 816.261.0422. Please leave a message. Another option is to email Executive Director Michelle Wolfe or Apple Blossom President Ken Rosenauer at the addresses below.

Click on links at the right for pages covering both the pageants and parade, entry forms for both, and photos and information about previous Apple Blossom festivals.

Special thanks to these local businesses that help make the Apple Blossom better:

Email Apple Blossom Executive Director Michelle Wolfe

Email Apple Blossom President and Webmaster Ken Rosenauer


Apple Blossom Parade and Festival, Inc. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
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