May 1, 2018

Did you know St. Joseph’s Apple Blossom Festival is the third longest-running Apple Blossom celebration in the United States? It was then you could buy anew Ford for as little as $265, and a round-trip ticket on the Union Pacific from St. Joseph to Los Angeles for $72. It was 1924, and on April 24th, St. Joseph enjoyed its very first Apple Blossom Parade, according to the Apple Blossom Parade and Festival, Inc. (

The festival theme for 2018, “Viva St. Joseph!,” falls on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo! This year, in addition to the long-time cherished parade through downtown, the 11th Annual Apple Blossom BBQ Competition,aKansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event, promises exciting new changes and entertainment additions, all with a fiesta flair!

Serving as the new organizers of the Apple Blossom BBQ Competition, St.Joseph Community Branding,LLC, which is responsible for the “Made With Uncommon Character” brand circulating around the St. Joseph area for the past eight months, will proudly present the barbecue contest on May 4-5, 2018, at Civic Center Park in the heart of downtown St. Joe.

The group is excited to present several new events, including the popular 80s cover band Blue Oyster Culture Club (BOCC), a full BBQ meal on Friday evening, sponsored by Triumph Foods, and the People’s Choice Tasting. On Saturday morning, visitors, food vendors and competitors can enjoy a barbecue lunch in Civic Center Park after the parade, while enjoying music, vendors, games and more.

“Pork tacos will be available both days of the event, as well as plenty of cerveza for those wanting to mix BBQ and Cinco de Mayo,” said Kristi Bailey, St. Joseph Community Branding chairperson.

Information on both can be found at

In addition to the parade and barbecue contest, make time for Discover Downtown, at Coleman Hawkins Park on Felix Street Square, 2 blocks away from Civic Center Park. The annual event features interactive, kid-friendly entertainment at the park gazebo and family-friendly games and crafts. Walk around downtown and check out the locally-owned businesses while you are by participating in a puzzle map activity and be entered in a drawing for prizes! At the gazebo, enjoy Zumba, Family Yoga, and Nia, a cardio workout.


5:00 – 10:00 p.m. – People’s Choice Tasting & Pulled Pork BBQ meal & beverages at Civic Center Park, 1100 Frederick Ave.
5:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Fiesta activities & vendor fair at Civic Center Park.
7:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Live Music by Blue Oyster Culture Club.

9:30 – 11:00 a.m. – Apple Blossom Parade from Noyes & Frederick to 4th & Felix, Downtown.
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Live Radio Remote by KKJO.
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Pulled Pork BBQ meal & beverages, Fiesta activities & vendor fair at Civic Center Park.
11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Discover Downtown plus kids activities at Coleman Hawkins Park on Felix Street Square, 8th and Felix.
3:00 – 3:30 p.m. – BBQ Competition Awards presentation at Civic Center Park.

Admission to the grounds and the concert are FREE. Meal tickets, Peoples Choice tickets and Beverage tickets will be available on the grounds. You will not want to miss this special, and tasty event in downtown St. Joseph!

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