The first Cherry Blossom Parade marched under a small token of cherry blossoms on May 6, 1973. It was a complete success with many township identities and local groups participating. When it was all over -- it was the talk of the town and everyone was happy that it was successful! For the first time Cherry Hill Township presented a community-wide activity that the townspeople and the diverse identities of Cherry Hill were happy to particpate in. We knew now that the number of Cherry trees plantings on Chapel Avenue will continue to rise every year to greet the parade!
One of the highlights of the first Cherry Blossom Parade was when Cherry Hill West High School Band and Cherry Hill East High School Band marching bands performed before the crowds! They were greeted with cheers and applause from proud Cherry Hill parents and parade watchers.
Other high school bands marched in the parade such as - Hamilton High School Band, Vineland High School Band, Cherokee High School Band, Buena Vista High School Band and Palmyra High School Band to name a few. Popular String Bands were also in attendance and as well gigantic floating character balloons. One year hot-air balloons were tethered along side the parade route. Miss New Jersey and other Beauty Queens from other State Counties also joined the parade. There were even private parade entries by businessmen and local groups -- everyone was enjoying the spectacle of a parade.
The cherry blossom quest seemingly was working -- each year more cherry trees were added to the route and elsewhere in the community. The Cherry Blossom Parade was getting larger and more colorful. New events were being added -- Hot-Air Balloon races, Bike Races, Foot Races, Carnivals, Antique Car Show, Rock Concerts, a Day at the Garden State Race Track, community-wide dinner dances, cultural events at the high schools and in the Fall season a "Masquerade Ball of Cherry Hill" to keep the workers and townspeople together! The Cherry Blossom Parade and its festival would eventually become the largest single community happening in the State of New Jersey. It had grown to be a month long festival with community events being scheduled throughout the month of May.
In 1976 the Cherry Blossom Parade was accepted to be New Jersey State - Bicentennial Parade -- sixteen State Counties participated that year. Over 110 entries performed and the parade lasted five hours! Our community was proud to stage the Bicentennial event for the State of New Jersey and surrounding municpalities.!
The townspeople and surrounding communities of Camden County were eagerly looking forward to next year's presentation of the Cherry Blossom Parade -- expecting that it would be larger and better than the previous one! It became so popular that Cable Television Channel 2 recorded the entire Cherry Blossom Parade so that their broadcast subscribers would be able to view it in their homes.
To see photos of Cherry Blossom Parades (1973 - 1992) -- Click on this Link!
To see a video of the - 1976 - (Bicentennial) - Cherry Blossom Parade -- Click on this link!
Did we succeed?
Unfortunately, after 20 years of effort - the Cherry Blossom Parade and its Festival came to its end on May 3, 1992
We did not succeed in our quest to unify the community of Cherry Hill!
Reasons being too difficult to discuss on this web site!
We haven't given up - we are still trying!
Cherry Hill Firefighters, to this day, continue to plant the cherry trees on Chapel Avenue to complete the original
idealistic goal to line a two-mile section of Chapel Avenue with blossoming cherry trees. Only seventeen
shade trees remain on Chapel Avenue! These shade trees must be removed in order to
achieve what was started in 1972. The idealistic goal to create a continuous
two-mile cherry tree lined avenue to honor the Township of
Cherry Hill and unify the townspeople must not be
abandoned! The beautiful cherry blossoms
on Chapel Avenue must never attest
It is with great hope that one day a future generation
of townspeople and community leaders would return
the Cherry Blossom Parade and its Festival back to the community of Cherry Hill!
Designed to be a community-wide "Celebration of the Township of Cherry Hill!"
To reflect all that is good and meaningful of our townspeople,
religious and ethnic groups, schools, organizations and
businessmen of Cherry Hill.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
The United States of America is attacked by terrorists!
A second effort to bring the community of Cherry Hill proudly together
under the cherry blossoms resulted in the creation of
Cherry Hill's - "9-11 Remembrance & Patriotic Gratitude" event!
Chapel Avenue's blossoming cherry trees are called upon to reflect
community-wide patriotism! It was decided that American flags and yellow ribbons will adorn
the blossoming cherry trees! It will be Cherry Hill's public statement of
remembrance of the victims of 9-11,
a showing of support for our military and to reflect the
townspeople's pride and love for our country!
Details about this patriotic event are mentioned on our "Home" page!
CHERRY BLOSSOM PARADE - PHOTOGRAPHS
May 3, 1992 -- Photo taken on the day of the last "Cherry Blossom Parade" in Cherry Hill, NJ
Ironically -- the cherry trees were in full blossoms on the day of the last parade!
To see other parade photographs -- visit next page -- "Photos - Cherry Blossom Parade"