April may be the National “Celebrate Diversity Month,” “Community Service Month,” “Autism Awareness Month,” “Poetry Month,” and even, “Soft Pretzel Month,” among other annual distinctions all over the US, but in the Rogue Valley, April means one thing – Pear Blossom!
Part parade, part street fair, part pageantry (events include a Baby Contest, Junior Royalty and Senior Scholarship pageants) and all fun, Medford’s Pear Blossom Festival draws tens of 1,000’s of spectators and street fair participants every year. This year marks the 62nd Annual Pear Blossom Parade to take place in downtown Medford, and it’s a poignant year for Medford’s Pear Blossom Festival for a number of reasons.
- The recent passing of beloved Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy, 1967 Pear Blossom Grand Marshal (his one and ONLY public appearance as Spock!), is sure to bring some additional notoriety to this year’s event.
- The 2015 Grand Marshal, Amy’s Kitchen represents a flagship business in the Rogue Valley, employing more than 1,600 people, the majority locally. Amy’s also came up with this year’s Pear Blossom Theme – “Rooted in the Rogue Valley,” celebrating the bounty of local resources and innovations springing from our region.
- The Pear A Fare artisan food (and sprits) tasting and Smudge Pot Stroll have returned this year. Newer additions to the Pear Blossom family of events, Pear A Fare takes place as part of the street festival on Friday and Saturday and involves tastes created by local food artisans as well as vineyards, breweries and distilleries in our region. Admission to the Pear A Fare tent is just $5 for food tastings only with the option to pay $15 for a commemorative glass you keep that allows you to also partake in the adult beverage tasting experience.
- Finally, this year, the Pear Blossom Board decided to add a new experience for the community with the addition of a scavenger hunt. Beginning on Sunday, March 29th, a rhyming riddle was posted to the Medford Pear Blossom Festival Facebook page, encouraging anyone interested to follow a trail to several local businesses, picking up clues about the next location at each destination. Three winners picked up prizes just a few days later after traveling in several cities (Medford, Ashland and Eagle Point) to find the various clues. If you missed it this year, start checking the Facebook page in March of next year to take part.
Among Rogue Valley events, Pear Blossom undoubtedly ranks among the top few, annually. You can learn more on their website and Facebook pages for Medford Pear Blossom Festival and Pear-A-Fare. This year’s event officially begins this Friday, April 10.