In 1980, at the peak of the “Little House” years, his daughter, Leslie Ann Landon [Matthews], served as Queen Shenandoah LIII; and, family members came east from California to witness her reign. Sixteen years later, in 1996, after Michael’s untimely death, Leslie’s sister, Shawna Leigh Landon [Lupia], served as Queen Shenandoah LXIX; and, once more, the family came east from California to witness her reign. Thirteen years later, in 2009, Ashley Taylor Landon, daughter of Michael Landon, Jr., served as Queen Shenandoah LXXXII; and, for the third time, the family came east to the wondrous Shenandoah Valley to witness her reign. Now, in 2013, Rachel Lynn Matthews, daughter of Leslie Ann Landon Matthews, will serve our magical realm as “Queen Shenandoah LXXXVI, Queen of the Valley’s Springtime Blossoms.”
Country music superstar, Scotty McCreery, has had a blindingly rapid rise to stardom since he became “American Idol’s” youngest male winner at age 17, as well as the show’s first country male winner in 2011. The Garner, North Carolina, native quickly emerged as one of Country Music’s most successful new artists after the release of his debut album, Clear As Day.
A Winchester icon ... a Virginia icon ... if someone would ask what the phrase “a true southern gentleman” signifies, the answer would be: Harry Byrd. In intensity and longevity, there is no one who can match Senator Byrd’s inestimable record of participation in the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®; and, it is highly unlikely that anyone ever will.
Racing legend Bill Elliott has built one of the most distinguished records in NASCAR Cup history. Throughout his career he has radiated a modest and friendly personality that has endeared him to race fans of all ages. From cutting up car bodies in the early days to winning NASCAR's first million-dollar bonus, Bill Elliott has seen and done it all. Though quiet and unpretentious, this NASCAR Cup Champion has been dazzling fans with his racing ability for an amazing three decades. In 1985, he won 11 races and 11 poles on his way to winning the first Winston Million in NASCAR history, bringing a new fame to him and the sport of auto racing.
Woodson was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the youngest of three siblings. He played defensive back in high school and a variety of offensive skill positions, and was all-state his junior and senior seasons. He was also named a Parade and USA Today All-American. Woodson was named Indiana "Mr. Football" in 1982. Woodson accepted a full scholarship to play football at Purdue University, in part because of a desire to pursue a degree in electrical engineering.
Duck Dynasty is a reality television series on A&E. It shows the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, “Duck Commander,” which is operated in West Monroe, Louisiana, and which makes products for duck hunters, primarily the duck call of the same name: “Duck Commander.” The Robertson men, brothers Phil and Si, and Phil's sons, Jase, Willie and Jep, are known for their long, flowing beards.
In 1955 Henry A. Shiley became a member of Middletown Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company, Inc.– Company 12 and then served over 56 years with 50 of those years as chief. He is one of the longest-tenured volunteer chiefs in the Commonwealth of Virginia and was a founding member of the Frederick County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association. He helped establish Frederick County’s central dispatch.
Victoria Maiden is this year's Miss Apple Blossom Festival winner.
The 21 year old is a Lee-Davis High School graduate, and current Senior at University of Virginia where she is majoring in English and minoring in Media Studies. Victoria's platform, "Beating the Odds: A Living Miracle".
Rosemary grew up watching Miss America on Television, and tried her first Miss America local preliminary pageant as a way to help her parents pay for her college expenses. She was first runner-up in Miss Chesapeake 2010, but ended up stepping in as Miss Chesapeake at the Miss Virginia Pageant that year when the original titleholder moved away. Rosemary was inspired after really learning what MAO represents and the doors it opens to serve and inspire others. She then competed again as Miss Hampton Holly Days 2011 and won as Miss Roanoke Valley 2012.
Basketball legend, philanthropist, mentor and businessman, Johnny Newman, is a powerhouse presence both locally and nationally. The former NBA star has taken the same work ethic that sustained him through a phenomenal 16-year pro career and turned it into success helping others. Education is everything to the Danville, Virginia, native. Johnny has the distinction of being one of a few NBA players who not only has a Bachelors’ Degree [from the University of Richmond]; but also, a Masters’ Degree [from Virginia Commonwealth University.]
Garçon was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the 205th overall pick. He displayed himself as a deep threat in Peyton Manning's offense, recording 47 receptions, 765 yards, and four touchdowns in his second season. In 2010, Garçon had the starting spot most of the season. By the end of the season, he had 67 receptions for 784 yards and six touchdowns. During the 2011 season, despite Peyton Manning being out the entire season due to injury, Garçon had his best season with the Colts.
Chris attended Utah State University where he majored in Art Education. As a true freshman he was pressed into duty as a defensive end and finished the year with 19 tackles and two sacks. He also forced one fumble and recovered another. This would be his only defensive action in college. During a promising junior season Chris earned the team's Golden Helmet award as the team’s hardest hitter, finished third in receptions on the team, and was placed on the preseason watch list for the John Mackey award.
Tim League graduated from Rice University in 1992 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Art/Art History. After a two-year stint at Shell Oil Company in Bakersfield, California, Tim turned his back on the engineering profession and opened up his first movie theater. An “unmitigated financial disaster,” the Tejon Theater closed in 1995; and, he and his wife Karrie loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector, screen and speakers and headed to Austin, Texas.
Lisa lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband, Sam; her dog, Dorian Gray; and, the occasional itinerant adult child who wanders home. She has served in both the U.S. Army and the Virginia National Guard…..first on the enlisted side and then as an officer.Lisa attended the Defense Language Institute and has taught English as a Second Language for several years. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University.
On May 19, 1967, while on his 81st combat mission over North Vietnam, Eugene B. “Red” McDaniel was shot down while flying his A-6 Intruder aircraft. He was listed as “missing in action” until 1970, when the Hanoi government acknowledged that he was being held prisoner. A POW for six years, McDaniel was released March 4th, 1973, after the Vietnam cease-fire. Red McDaniel was one of the most brutally tortured prisoners of the Vietnam War. This torture resulted from his active role in camp communications during an organized escape attempt by his fellow prisoners.
Dr. Lori has been featured on NBC's “The Tonight Show” and Comedy Central's “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” for her comedic and no-holds-barred approach to antique appraisals. When she’s touring with her comedy show, attendees are encouraged to bring antiques to be appraised as part of this wildly funny, one-of-a-kind event. Dr. Lori never knows what kind of “old stuff” her audiences will bring; and, this sets up the opportunity for her quick-witted ad libs.