Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

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The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, a six-day festival held annually in Winchester, Virginia, is known for its many guest celebrities and events. The festival was first held Saturday, May 3, 1924, and was originally celebrated as a one day event (although not held in 1941-1945 due to World War II). Features include a Grand Feature Parade, Firefighters' Parade (first held on Thursday, April 18, 1929), a carnival and midway, luncheons, races, walks, dances, and concerts, as well as a field show competition which formerly gave out the Queen's Cup trophy to the winner (although the trophy was retired in 1992 by Dartmouth High School of Massachusetts after winning the competition three straight years). The Queen, Queen Shenandoah, has been crowned every year at John Handley High School (with the exception of 2007 due to ongoing renovations), starting with the original Queen, Elizabeth Steck (Arthur).

A loss of interest during the 1930s, prompted the appointment of Tom Baldridge to the seat of Executive Director of the festival. He was also employed at MGM in the publicity department, which allowed him the opportunity to schedule celebrities, in turn renewing public interest in the festival. The period of the 1960s and 1970s introduced various new aspects to the festival including: The first visit by a President, Lyndon B. Johnson (1964),the beginning of attendance by sports celebrities Jack Dempsey (1965), and the premier of Sunday in the Park (1975). A favorite of children,...
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