More money to float your boat at parade

03:00, May 26 2012

Float builders for the Alexandra Blossom Festival have an extra incentive this year: the prize for the best competitive float in the Grand Procession has risen $500 to $2000.

Also, any float with a princess will be eligible for the top prize. Previously, only floats made with paper flowers were allowed into Pioneer Park for the public vote.

Blossom Festival chairwoman Clair Higginson said it was hoped that by increasing the prize and changing the entry format, more people would participate and the parade would become the festival's focal point.

"The changes were made to encourage float building in other media and so we could be fair to other float builders when it came to judging. We still encourage the traditional floats made from paper flowers by offering a substantial prize for the best floral float," Ms Higginson said.

Festival co-ordinator Martin McPherson said it was possible for a float to win more than one section, thereby increasing their prize. For example, schools that entered a floral float with a princess were in line for the largest prize pool, with the potential to take home $3500, he said.

This year the festival will be held between September 21 and 29, with the parade taking place on September 22.


The Southland Times