For the first time, the University of Oregon is helping sponsor the Pear Blossom Festival and Parade in Medford, which will be April 10-11.
The Duck and the UO Duck Truck will be in the parade, along with a few UO cheerleaders and a live band. UO will have a booth at the street fair where visitors can play games, meet the Duck, connect with alumni and have questions answered by UO staff and students.
Currently in its 62nd year, the Pear Blossom Festival and Parade is one of the oldest traditions in Southern Oregon. Created to celebrate the pear harvest, the first parade featured 10 “floats” of schoolchildren in wagons. Now, the Pear Blossom Parade boasts more than 5,000 participants, 30,000 spectators and past grand marshals including Olympian Frank Shorter and former president John F. Kennedy.
The 2015 theme is “Rooted in the Rogue Valley.” More than 600 UO students hail from Jackson and Josephine counties. Those students received more than $6 million in financial aid and scholarships in the 2014–15 academic year.
At the festival kickoff on March 30, South Medford High School senior Rayna Zohar, was crowned the festival queen and received a $1,000 award toward fees at the UO, where she is attending this fall. Jordan Zeigler, on the court of princesses, is also an incoming Duck.