Hundreds of people enjoy the 68th Annual Pear Blossom Parade

DOWNTOWN MEDFORD, Ore. — The 68th Pear Blossom Parade is the most unique in the parade’s history.

Its upside-down parade allowed hundreds of people to experience a multitude of local vendors, live music, and even tractors.

Parade organizers say 150 entries with 4,000 participants and 25 to 30,000 enthusiasts lined the parade route.

“It’s just amazing, just the community spirit coming out and seeing everyone. We didn’t know whether to expect 1 car or 10 cars and there have been thousands of cars and it’s been so much fun,” said Pear Blossom Festival president, Darcey Mann-Self.

The upside-down parade concept was created to abide by current coronavirus restrictions by having people drive by the parade participants.
Mann-Self says she wasn’t expecting the upside-down parade idea to be such a hit.

“I never thought an upside-down parade or reverse parade could be this fun, but in the 36 years I’ve done this, this is the least I’ve ever done,” said Mann-Self.

For anyone that prefers the traditional Pear Blossom Parade, Mann-Self says the parade is expected to go back to its original form next year.

Many parade attendees were impressed with the layout, 5-year-old Santiago said, “I like everything here.”

Others said the parade was like many they’ve been to:
“It’s kinda normal to me because I’ve been to parades many times,” said 8-year-old Keston Casey.

The parade started on Beatty Street in Medford and concluded on Mistletoe Street.

The festival plans to host nine events throughout the next four weekends.

The street festival is being held in a smaller venue with mask and social distancing guidelines in place.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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