MEDFORD, Ore. — The 66th annual Pear Blossom Parade kicked off Saturday in Medford.
This year’s parade included marching bands, police and fire departments, and much more. When it first started in 1954, the parade had about a dozen floats. Since then, the parade has grown to feature 150 organizations.
This year’s theme was “Farm Built in the Rogue Valley” with dozens of tractors and horses marching down the streets.
Abigail Thorne watched the parade with her sister Hannah Thorne.
“We go every year,” said Hannah. “I feel like it brings the community together,” she added.
The festival also featured a 5K, 10K, and other fun races Saturday morning.
10-year old Esperansa Morales won the women’s division in one hour and three minutes.
In the men’s division, Tyler Van Dyke took home the title, coming in just under 55 minutes.
Last year’s women’s division winner, Heather Johnson, also ran in Saturday’s event but said she took it a little easy this year. She is eight months pregnant.
“As long as nothing is bothering you, nothing is hurting, if the doctor ok’s it, you’re good to go,” said Johnson.
The festival also featured a street fair in downtown Medford with food, vendors, and live music.
NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Rayvan Vares was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Communication. While attending SOU, he traveled across Asia and studied in Japan.
When he’s not reporting, Rayvan enjoys working out, dancing hula and traveling. Feel free to email him with story ideas, [email protected]