In 1954, representatives of several Medford groups (including the Fruit Grower’s League, Chamber of Commerce, Merchants Association, American Legion and the school district) met to initiate an event during the spring blossom season. They decided to have a children’s’ parade. A five-year-old, Miss Blossom, was chosen to reign over the 10 floats.
There were 100 floats in the parade by 1956, and the festival included a 30-mile tour of the valley’s blooming orchards. Since 1957, children have been chosen festival King and Queen. Motorized floats were allowed in the parade in 1964. Pear Blossom Festival parade marshals have included Governor Holmes (1957), John F. Kennedy (1960), and Frank Shorter (1977) who led over 650 participants in the festival’s first annual mini-marathon.
Current parade entrants number over 150 with over 5,000 participants. The festival now includes a number of other activities besides the parade; A baby contest, Junior Royalty Pageant, Senior Royalty Scholarship Pageant, the Run, a Street Fair, Golf Tournament, Pear-A-Fare and the Smudge Pot Stroll.
- President – Darcey Mann-Self
- 1st VP – Greg Nichols
- 2nd VP – Tad Blanton
- Secretary – Katie Higgins
- Parade Chairman/Treasurer – Cindy Buckalew
- Gail Schweizer
- Gwen Christensen
- Joan Middendorf
- Kaitlin Nichols
Julie Horn, Karyn and Jim Adams, Caleb LaPlante, Dave Aikens, Richard and Diana LaPlante, Rachelle Middendorff, Monica Farnsworth, Karen and Jon Graham, Chuck Schweizer, Bryan Miller, Danny and Kristi Schweizer, Neal & Georgean Bertrand, Shirley Bewley, Shari Botermans, Erin Noble, Genna Robertson, Jeremy Buckalew, Cheyenne McCallister, Buddy Robertson, Amber Sharp, John Christensen, Evelyn & Don Bryan, Debby Elder, Amanda & Eric Kounz, Misty James, Kent & Stormi Peterson, Kallen Peterson, Shayla Peterson, Stacey Smith, Steve Self, Jodi Straw-Norman, Lyio Tyckson.