St. Joseph's official rite of Spring - May 1-2

Apple Blossom Festival Weekend

The Apple Blossom Festival is the official St. Joseph rite of Spring. The festival began 90 years ago and each year continues to grow, having evolved into a weekend-long celebration including a national barbecue contest, live music, great food, unique downtown shopping experiences, and of course, the spotlight event: The Annual Apple Blossom Parade, Saturday, May 2ndrd. It is also the third oldest Apple Blossom Festival in the United States.

Apple Blossom Barbecue Contest - Civic Center Park 1100 Frederick Ave

The "barbecued" fun kicks off on Friday, May 1st at Civic Center Park, on City Hall grounds in downtown St. Joseph. The 9th annual Apple Blossom Barbecue Contest is sponsored by and benefits the Northwest Missouri Children's Advocacy Center.

In addition to the multi-state  barbecue competition, consisting of some of the best competitive barbecue teams in the Midwest, the contest will again include the ever popular People's Choice category that allows the public to sample and vote on their favorite barbecue Friday evening. Peoples Choice contest is Friday from 6-8 pm.  Sample barbecue from all the competition for $10.

Live music Friday eve from 6-11pm (Stephanie Gummelt 6pm, The Motors 7pm, Jeffy Forney Blues Band 8pm), food tents, beer garden, vendors, family entertainment and kids games will also be available.  Saturday, May 2, the hours are noon-4pm and Maria the Mexican will be performing from noon-2:30. Barbecue Awards at 3pm.

Apple Blossom Parade - Along Frederick Ave towards Downtown St. Joseph

Saturday, May 2nd, the annual Apple Blossom Parade will begin at Noyes Boulevard and Frederick Avenue at 9:30 am and proceed West down Frederick into downtown. The 2015 theme, "St. Joseph: Our future is bright," emphasizes our commitment to this community and our belief that our best times are yet to come. Find a comfortable spot along Frederick and watch the numerous parade floats and entries pass by, and be sure to bring a bag to collect all that candy. The festival has been the St. Joseph News Press Readers Choice as best parade/festival for the past 14 years.

Discover Downtown - Felix Street Square/Coleman Hawkins Park - 7th & Felix Streets 

Another event in St. Joseph May 1-2 is Discover Downtown. A popular addition to the regular First Saturdays events, Discover Downtown is a collaborative effort from downtown businesses, building owners and volunteers who have come together to create a two day event that will fill empty store fronts with merchants and occupy Coleman Hawkins Park with multiple family friendly activities.

On Friday May 1st and Saturday May 2nd, Felix Street will come alive with a multitude of potential small businesses, offering their wares from several of the empty storefronts from 5th Street to 8th Street. Beginning at 10am, the public can enter these stores, and see what the prospective entrepeneurs have to offer.

On Saturday, May 2nd, watch The Apple Blossom Parade from Felix Street, then stay after and make a day of being downtown St. Joseph. Discover Downtown will have a full day of events in Coleman Hawkins Park, including St. Joseph’s Passport (a festival of ethnic food and entertainment), a “Kids Zone” with multiple activities and entertainment, and live music from the best local bands. Discover Downtown offers two days of shopping, art, music, and culture that you won’t find anywhere else. Most events are free, and open to all ages.  

Live music line up schedule here!  

For additional information check out Discover Downtown's Facebook Page.  

Short commercial on the Discover Downtown Event