In the Autumn of 2011 we were contacted by the Artistic Advisor to the Board of the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, Apple Blossom Festival. He suggested, on the basis of our website, that we seemed to have much in common albeit their event is much larger. He wondered if we might be interested in some sort of link. The Twinning project developed over the following months. We saw it as being a brilliant way to celebrate Preston Guild Year, The Diamond Jubilee, Helen Clitheroe’s Olympics and mark a very important Festival for us.

An advance delegation visited and the warmth of the reception by our Community confirmed the Twinning as a concept the Board of the Appleblossom Festival would embrace. In addition, Preston City Councillor Bobby Cartwright, who had recently been to Nova Scotia, sent an impressive gift of china for the mayor of Kentville, the Annapolis Valley town on which the Appleblossom festival is centred. We can confirm that this gift still in 2016, has pride of place in Kentville Town Hall.

The Annapolis Valley’s 2011 pre festival concert, featured a surprise video of children from Goosnargh Oliverson’s singing the Annapolis Valley Festival song “A Time to Celebrate” as an introduction to the Twinning. Composed by a young folk singer from Kentville, Rachel Maclean, this was then sung on our Festival Day. With slightly revised words “Let’s Join and Celebrate” was sung to start the Twinning Ceremony.

Delegates were invited to be our Special Guests for the first stage of the Twinning, which was completed when we travelled to Nova Scotia in May 2013. Daisy and Poppy Haresnape, Festival Queens 2006 and 2008, were invited to be our Official Delegates amongst a party of 10 in all (self funding of course!). Poppy designed the new Festival Sign to reflect the Twinning and Chairman David Butters composed a Concert March “Mayblossoms” for The Longridge Band to mark the occasion.