Four young women from the Winchester area have been selected to serve as Maids in the Court of Queen Shenandoah XCVI during the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, April 28th through May 7th, 2023. The Maids are Mattie Gray Davis, Katherine Ann Martin, Emilie Elizabeth Pifer, and Margaret Anne Utz.
Mattie Davis is the daughter Mitzie and Bryce Davis of Winchester, VA. She is the granddaughter of Ellen and Rodney Cowley of Winchester, and the late Lela Davis and Boyd Davis. Mattie is a sophomore at The University of Georgia majoring in finance. She is a Presidential Scholar as well as an intern at Brown & McCook, a tax, accounting, and consulting firm. Mattie is a member of the Atlas Business Society, the Women in Finance organization, and the Delta Zeta sorority. She holds an executive board position as Recruitment Chair on the UGA Powerlifting club team. Mattie is a 2021 graduate of John Handley High School.
Katherine Martin is the daughter of Kimberly and Christopher Martin of Winchester. She is the granddaughter of Douglas Pollock of Gig Harbor, WA, Linda and William Martin of Winchester, and the late Carol Pollock. Katherine is a junior at Christopher Newport University majoring in political science. She is a member of Gamma Phi Beta where she serves as the administrative Vice President. Katherine is a 2020 graduate of John Handley High School. While in high school, she was a member of the National Honor Society and an intern for Delegate Christopher Collins.
Emilie Pifer is the daughter of Kim and William Pifer of Winchester. She is the granddaughter of Toni Sloan, Alexandra and William Armstrong, and Dorothy Pifer, all of Winchester, and the late Lamar Sloan and William Pifer. Emilie attends James Madison University majoring in health sciences, with a focus on pharmacy. She is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity and on the Dean’s List. Emilie is a 2021 graduate of John Handley High School. She was a three-year varsity Volleyball letter recipient serving as captain her junior and senior years, a member of the National Honor Society, and a Handley Scholar. Emilie’s mother, Kim Pifer, was a Maid of Honor in the court of Queen Shenandoah LXII, Emily Sikking. Her maternal grandfather, William Armstrong, was a Festival President from 2007 and 2008.
Margaret Utz is the daughter of Anne Marie and Christopher Utz of Winchester. She is the granddaughter of Frances and James Lowe and Barbara Utz, all of Winchester, and the late Donald Utz. Margaret is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in business with a concentration in marketing. She is a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity. Margaret graduated from James Wood High School in 2021. She was a member of DECA, the Volleyball team and the Tennis team. Additionally, she is a volunteer with the SPCA and Froggy’s Closet.
Live. Love. Bloom.
Winchester, VA – The unveiling of the 96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® annual theme and its unique artwork represents the official kickoff of the Festival every November. The theme announcement is the foundation for building momentum through the unveiling of newsworthy events and special guest announcements throughout the winter and early-spring months that lead up to the Festival which takes place next year on April 28 to May 7, 2023.
Sharen Gromling, Festival President states, “The theme’s inspirational message consists of three simple, short verbs that reflects the love our community has for this nearly 100-year tradition of celebrating the Bloom. It is an easy to remember, simplistic theme that is filled with energy and action - Live. Love. Bloom. In short, the theme inspires us to Live Fully, Love Deeply, and Bloom Forever.”
The 96th theme is once again designed by the Festival’s talented graphic designer, Erik Zimmerman, of White Spider, Inc. In describing the theme design and inspiration, Zimmerman states, “I wanted the artwork for the 96th theme to be as simple and as powerful as the title "Live. Love. Bloom". A clean and bold design, incorporating traditional colors along with a splash of something different to provide complimentary impact and Festival energy. Typically, the logo is a simpler version of the program cover, however this year the logo came first, and they mimic each other almost identically with a strong design. The program cover only shows a slight modification to the logo art, along with a halftone blossoms background for a little depth and flare.”
Event ticket sales will be announced at a later date. Tickets can be purchased in person at Festival Headquarters located at 135 North Cameron Street, by phone at (540) 662-3863 or through our online ticketing system. Make plans now to join us for the 96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® on April 28 through May 7, 2023.
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the beauty of springtime and the apple blossoms in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley through events and initiatives that enhance community spirit and showcases our local agricultural heritage.