New Minas axes offer to host Apple Blossom Parade in favour of Kentville

Kentville to host Apple Blossom parade after all

New Minas says it doesn't want to be "caught in the middle" of a dispute over this year's Apple Blossom Parade in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley and has pulled out of the running to host the event.

Dave Chaulk, chairperson for the New Minas village commission, said the village had never asked to host the parade.

"The village did not initiate contact with the Apple Blossom Festival committee to host the parade; the committee contacted us and said they were looking for a new venue," he said in a news release Thursday.

New Minas offered to help as "good citizens," but didn't expect to land in a dispute with the Town of Kentville, which has hosted the parade for most of the last 85 years and expected to do so again in 2017.

'Do not want to be caught in the middle'

"We are disappointed with what has transpired since then and do not want to be caught in the middle of a public dispute between the Town of Kentville and the festival committee," Chaulk said.

Organizers said they decided to change the parade route because of difficulties securing police and parks and recreation staff in Kentville.

Kentville Mayor Sandra Snow has said there was no advance warning the festival's board was even considering moving the parade.

Public 'clearly' want Kentville to host

The New Minas village commission met Thursday and passed a motion saying it no longer supports hosting the parade or fireworks.

"We think it's in the best interests of all concerned for us to pull out in the hope that the committee and town can work out their differences and the parade returns to Kentville, where a majority of the public clearly want it to be," Chaulk said.

The location of this spring's Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival parade is not yet set. An agreement has been drawn up and signed by the Town of Kentville to host the parade, but the festival's board hasn't given its final approval.

'Shocked we are still in negotiations'

"I'm shocked we are still in negotiations," Snow told CBC News.

"The Town of Kentville signed an amended agreement last Monday and returned it to them for their review and at their request it was dated Feb. 28. The grand street parade does not pull itself together in a couple of weeks."

The parade is slated for May 27.

Chaulk said next year marks the 50th anniversary of New Minas's incorporation and they'd love to host the parade then.