ST. JOSEPH —After a two-year absence, the Blossomtime Festival has announced that community pageants will be back for the 2021-2022 season.

“We are excited to announce the theme for Blossomtime, which will be saluting our “Past, Present and Future,” the Blossomtime organization announced in a Sept. 24 press release. “This time-honored Festival is rich with history. Each community will soon open their doors to endless possibilities as they each create their own ‘Past, Present or Future’ theme for their community pageants.”

Community pageants will be starting in November and concluding in late February. Those interested in their community competition are asked to contact the Blossomtime Festival Office at (269) 982-8016 or send an email to office@blossomtimefestival.org. In an effort to include the youth that did not have the opportunity to run for 2021, the age limit has been expanded to 17-20 years old for the 2021-2022 pageant season only.

“One of the many components of its success and longevity is the outstanding volunteer base and community support it enjoys throughout Southwest Michigan. For 80-plus years Miss Blossomtime has been crowned, chosen from the many contestants awarded the honor of representing their individual communities and will compete for over $25,000 in scholarship funds. These pageants would not be possible without the commitment, dedication and mentorship of the chairmen and their committees. Currently, the Blossomtime Festival is seeking individuals that would be interested in chairing a committee in the communities of New Buffalo, Heart and Dowagiac. If you are interested in exploring this opportunity or perhaps volunteering at some Blossomtime events, (Blessing of the Blossoms, Youth Parade, Grand Floral Parade) please call the Blossomtime Office at (269) 982-8016 or email us at office@blossomtimefestival.org.”

The Blossomtime Festival is the oldest, largest, multi-community Festival in Michigan, celebrating 116 years this year. The goal of the Festival is to provide young adults in Southwest Michigan with mentoring opportunities, to learn about the area’s rich agricultural history and to assist in making their educational dreams come true by providing scholarships. Each year the Blossomtime Festival crowns a Queen and King to celebrate the coming of spring.

The first Miss Blossomtime, Catherine Burrell from Benton Harbor, was crowned in 1924 and the first Mr. Blossomtime Jake Belter from the community of Stevensville was crowned in 1997. The 88th and current Miss Blossomtime is Faith Kittleson from Berrien Springs and the 24th and current Mr. Blossomtime is Jeremiah Sterling of Benton Harbor.

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