BRISTOL - Three days of gorgeous weather, a parade, a pageant, a car show and countless flowers graced the Bristol Exchange Club’s 2021 Mum Festival.
It all began Friday night with the crowning of Miss Chrysanthemum Camryn Patton and continued all weekend, culminating with the Mum Parade on Sunday.
“People are so excited to get back out and do things again.” Mum Festival Committee member Karl Tack said, directing the parade groups down Race Street.
He estimated over 10,000 people participated in Saturday’s festival activities, which included a carnival, entertainment, pony rides, food and more.
The Mum Parade featured three instead of four divisions this year, due to the ongoing pandemic.
“It didn’t happen last year and we downsized a bit this year, but next year will hopefully be our biggest event ever,” Tack said.
His wife Diana Tack was Mum Festival Chairwoman., one of many volunteers who helped make the whole weekend a fantastic success.
Parade judges selected Bridge Community Church as First Place winner of the Community Award, much to the delight and pride of church members and Pastor Todd Wiliams.
“We just want everyone to know that Jesus loves them and he’s their bridge,” Williams said. “We can believe and experience hope, joy and renewal in our lives.”
Williams recalled growing up in Bristol and enjoying the yearly Mum Festival activities.
“I loved watching the parade; now it’s so awesome to be in it and give back to the town that’s given us so much,” he said.
Bristol resident Daisy Cruz Lopez and her boyfriend Steven Alarcon came down to watch the parade with a few of their younger family members.
“We’re just here to have fun and spend some time with each other,” Lopez pointed out.
The girls from Bristol’s Get Up ‘N Dance studio wore pink leotards for the occasion, dancing before, during and after the parade.
“We have been so excited for this,” teacher Stephanie Kubena said.
Miss Mum City Brooke Cyr sat atop the backseat of one of the sports cars carrying fellow Mum royalty, waving to passersby.
“I’m so excited and honored to be here,” Cyr said. “I was really looking forward to the Memorial Day Parade and I’m thankful for this one.”
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.