7 Decades of Cranberry Festival Themes

Parade Puffin & Mystery King 2013

Choose a Theme and Join the Parade!

Take a walk down memory lane in the 70th annual Bandon Cranberry Festival titled, “Cheers to 70 Years: A toast to seven decades of Cranberry Festivals.” Festival events start Friday, September 9 and continue through Sunday, September 11, 2016.

Got an old festival parade float sitting in your garage or barn? Now’s the time to dust it off.

This milestone festival invites local businesses, service clubs and organizations to parade through town Saturday morning decked in regalia reminiscent of any festival theme from the past seven decades.

“You could be the first in festival history to win twice with the same float,” said Anthony Zunino, chairman for the festival committee.

Zunino looks forward to an eclectic revival of past themes. Since any decade is up for grabs, parade organizer Rushel Reed hopes to see some mid-century glam, such as 1940s gangster zoot suits.

Early festival organizers didn’t assign theme titles until the 11th festival, in 1957, with “Songs of the Sea.” The following decades saw numerous coastal titles about the sea, surf, the ocean and boating. Several theme nominations evoked a holiday mood: “Vacation Time,” in 1959, “Cranberry Carnival” in 1972, “Mardi Gras” in 1975 and 2003, and “40th Cele-Berry-Action” in 1986.

Those who like themes with a little music and drama can choose from references to blues, hop, jive, swing, Broadway, follies, or the 1983 title “Lights, Action, Cranberries.” The 1990s saw a run of rhymes, including “Cranberry Jive in ‘95,” “It’s Cranberry Heaven in ’97,” and “It’s a Cranberry Date in ’98.”

Groups are encouraged to register parade entries in advance. Categories include band or music, float, vehicle, and animal. Parade judges award ribbons in each category, plus a Grand Marshal best of show award. Visit the Cranberry Festival event pages for information and registration forms.

Cranberry Festival Themes

Our list of past Cran Fest themes isn’t quite complete, and we’d like to fill in the blanks. If you know any of the missing titles, please contact the Bandon Chamber.

1940s & 1950s

1947 1st Annual Cranberry Festival
1948 2nd Annual Cranberry Festival
1949 3rd Annual Cranberry Festival
1950 4th Annual Cranberry Festival
1951 5th Annual Cranberry Festival
1952 6th Annual Cranberry Festival
1953 7th Annual Cranberry Festival
1954 8th Annual Cranberry Festival
1955 9th Annual Cranberry Festival
1956 10th Annual Cranberry Festival
1957 Songs of the Sea
1958 Early Oregon
1959 Vacation Time

1960s & 1970s

1964 Cranberry Shangri-La
1965 Cranberry Fantasy
1967 Frontier Days
1968 Swinging 60’s
1969 Gateway to Ocean Spray
1970 Bountiful Bandon
1971 Year of the Berries and Beaches
1972 Cranberry Carnival
1973 It’s A Cranberry World
1974 Disney comes to Cranberryland
1975 Cranberry Mardi Gras
1976 Cranberry Land USA
1977 Cranberries in Storybook Land
1978 Cranberries Out of this World
1979 Cranberries by the Sea

1980s & 1990s

1980 Cranberries Go Bon Voyage
1981 Cranberries Win the West
1982 Once Upon A Cranberry
1983 Lights, Action, Cranberries
1984 Cranberries Through History
1985 Cranberry Cartoons
1986 40th Cele-Berry-Action
1987 Cranberries from Sea to Shining Sea
1988 Cranberry Olympics
1989 Cranberry Flair
1990 Goofy about Cranberries
1991 Cranberry Carousel “Ride of the Century”
1992 Cranberry Follies
1993 Cranberries Under the Big Top
1994 Cranberry Sea and Surf
1995 Cranberry Jive in ‘95
1996 Celebration: the 50th Year
1997 It’s Cranberry Heaven in ‘97
1998 It’s A Cranberry Date in ‘98
1999 Bee Happy

2000 to present

2000 Cranberries on Broadway
2001 Cranberries in Space
2002 Cranberries Beaches and Blues
2003 Mardi Gras
2004 Cranberry Bog Boogie
2005 Solid Gold Cranberries
2006 Salute the Cranberries
2007 Treasures of the Bog
2008 Cranberry Fields Forever
2009 Lights, Action Cranberries
2010 Follow The Cranberry Road
2011 Take The Sentimental Journey
2012 Cranberry Island
2013 Cranberry Kingdom
2014 Cranberry Round-Up
2015 Cranberry Hop
2016 Cheers to 70 Years

Contributed by Geneva Miller, photo Cardas Photography