The Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade returns this weekend

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, September 16, 2021

parade watchers

Spectators line the sidewalk standing, sitting in lawn chairs and clapping while perched on the curb at the 2019 Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade. This year’s parade will be the first official one in-person since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Photo Zoë Strickland

The 2021 Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade is rolling through town this weekend in a flash of good news for anyone feeling nostalgic for some public celebration.

The Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade will burst forth in-person Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m., flowing from West County High School down Main Street to finish at Calder Avenue, concluding the parade at noon. The festival that traditionally follows the parade is virtual this year, with free admission to view at this link now.

The festival takes the form of a 40-minute documentary of sorts with footage and videos of parades past and four local figures discussing the parade’s history and meaning to them and the community.

“What I have found over the years in a town like Sebastopol is you don’t mess with tradition,” said Teresa Ramondo, the chamber’s retired executive director, in the film. The Sebastopol Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is the parade’s organizer and main sponsor.

Mayor Una Glass reminisced seeing locals leave their cars at home and head downtown by foot around 8:30 a.m. in the past, since Main Street was closed to traffic anyway. With great variety in the line-ups, Glass said, “It’s just the most kind of kooky, wacky, wonderful community event with thousands of people lining the streets.”

There may not be thousands in attendance, considering the Delta variant spreading through Sonoma County, but in any case, the organizers ask that everyone follow the county’s COVID-19 guidelines, the chamber’s executive director Linda Collins said. Food will not be served at the event, she said.

Canceled in 2020 under the earlier period of the pandemic, the Sebastopol Apple Blossom Parade returns with floats, walks, classic cars and local nonprofits representing this weekend. Collins looks forward to “just getting back out, showing people that we’re alive, we’re here. We’re embracing that we have a little bit of freedom as far as being outdoors.”

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