Live. Love. Bloom! 96th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
It is here! Break out the pink and green.
On Saturday, May 3, 1924, the first Festival was a one-day event. To kick off the celebration, the parade assembled at the old fairgrounds just off Fairmont Avenue and marched through the streets of Winchester to the Royal Pavilion on the grounds of John Handley High School. Elizabeth Steck (Arthur) was crowned the first Queen Shenandoah by the Prince of Apple Blossoms. Following the Coronation, a program of interpretive dance was presented to entertain the queen, her court, and those in attendance. Since the beginning, over 90 queens have reigned over the Festival.
The first visit by a United States President was Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964 for the Coronation of his daughter Luci who reigned as Queen Shenandoah XXXVII. In 1975 Susan Ford was crowned Queen Shenandoah XLVIII by her father, President Gerald R. Ford.
Join the fun this weekend. The Grand Feature Parade is on Saturday, May 6 and it is free (although you might be able to rent chairs for a few dollars). The Apple Blossom Carnival Powers Great American Midways offers family-friendly entertainment all weekend.
Make your own memories; become part of history.
10 Days. 40 Events.
We began celebrating at the Wine Fest several days ago. The Realty ONE Group Old Towne crew sported pink and green tie-died t-shirts to show their spirit and support.
The Carper family has been involved with the Bloom for generations. Barry Carper was recently the festival president, and Deborah Carper (above left) chaired The Queen’s Ball for many years. Jenifer Carper Mobley (above right) was a former member of Queen Shenandoah’s court and continues to be an active partipant.
The official Bloom souvenir shop returns to Apple Blossom Mall in the Belk Wing. It offers a wide variety of souvenirs and Bloom-themed clothing. Don’t wait, since this is the last weekend to get Bloom-related trinkets and merchandise. Get ready for an explosion of pink and green!
The Queen’s Ball
The Queen’s Ball will get things moving at the historic George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester. Guests at this elegant event will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and an open bar, while dancing the night away to the sounds of Souled Out. Realty ONE Group Old Towne is sponsoring this annual event.
Queen Shenandoah and her court will make a grand entrance during the evening and then stay to enjoy the ball held in the Queen’s honor. Enjoy a Royal Coronation weekend without having to book a ticket across the pond. Looks like Queen’s Ball tickets are still available.
My Bloom MEMORIES
I was a “college princess” in 1978, representing Radford College. It was a chilly spring, but the hospitality and fun were warm and wonderful. I still have a sterling silver apple charm and an apple cookbook; they were gifts from the event. My favorite memory? The Firefighters Parade, with all the ladders and the live Dalmatian riding with pride and elegance. Waving while sitting atop a float in the Grand Feature Parade is a close second.