A light drizzle and a low turnout did not deter the Apple Blossom Parade that returned Sept. 18 in Sebastopol after the pandemic canceled it in 2020.
The parade returned to in-person for its 75th anniversary after the coronavirus pandemic forced the parade to shut down along with the festival that usually coincides with it, according to Linda Collins, Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce’s executive director.
The parade, which is normally held in April, began at 10 a.m. at West County High School before heading down Main Street and ending on Calder Avenue.
“Main Street is usually lined with people and typically in the past, what they do is the night before they'll come in, set all their chairs out and reserve their spots,” Collins said before the event.
The parade was set to go until noon, but due to a low turnout, with less than a quarter of the typical amount of floats the parade usually showcases entering on Saturday, the parade was over within the first hour, according to a Sebastopol public works employee.
The Apple Blossom parade started in 1946 when Sebastopol welcomed the beginning of Spring and the new apple crops with a celebration that has since featured over 100 floats and vehicles that typically fill Main Street.
Previously the celebration also included a festival that drew crowds of up to 12,000 attendees and had included exhibits from food and wine vendors like Lagunitas and Sebastopol’s Bar B Que Smokehouse Bistro. The festival also included arts and crafts vendors and local musical acts.
The festival has been canceled for the last two years due to the pandemic.