Australian comedian duo Hamish Blake and Andy Lee made a pit stop at the 56th Alexandra Blossom Festival yesterday entering the grand parade in a campervan and dressed up as sheep.
Event organiser Martin McPherson said the pair had a ball taking part in parade and were in town filming for their latest television series.
Event goers were taken by surprise by what they thought was a late minute entry but it had been an added bonus they had taken part in the historic parade, Mr McPherson said.
Thousands lined Centennial Ave to watch the parade on a balmy spring day, in the best conditions the annual event had seen in several years.
Traditional festival acts, clowns, stilt walkers and acrobats, rubbed shoulders with new elements, such as the Crazy Car competition, and 12 princess floats took part in the parade.
It was believed that the number of arrests from the event were the lowest in several years with 13 arrests, Mr McPherson said.
Festival organising committee chairwoman Clair Higginson said it was a mix of nostalgia and future, of young and old coming out to celebrate spring, that characterised this year's blossom festival.
''We've been trying to re-capture that inter-generational stuff that blossom festival was famous for, to get those grandparents, grandchildren, and parents who used to go to the festival when they were kids, onto the street and into the park, celebrating together.''
The grand parade was off to a roaring start with the Central Otago Vintage Car Club leading the way on Saturday, to blaze the trail of Alexandra's 57th Blossom Festival.
The Alexandra Pipe Band heralded the first of the hand-made floats, Ice in Line's "Frozen in Time" graced by Caitlin Lowe.
Not to be outdone, Invercargill Highland Pipe Band announced the arrival of Alexandra New World's "An Alex Icon" and princess Bailey Sprosen.
At about the halfway point, Queenstown and Southern Lakes Highland Pipe Band kept up a Scottish noise over the roaring of Central Otago's motoring enthusiasts, to bring in Stadium Tavern Social Club's "Wobbly Ducks" with princess Rikki-Lee McLean.
The festivities continued with food stalls and the fun of the fair yesterday in Pioneer Park.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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