Michael W. Smith with special guest, Cochren & Co. to perform live at the 96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®
Winchester, VA – The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is excited to announce that Grammy, Dove, and America Music Award winner Michael W. Smith will perform live on Sunday afternoon, May 7, 2023 with special guest Cochren & Co. The concert is proudly presented by Clean Water of Virginia and will take place on the Tolley Dental Zone stage at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Enjoy an afternoon of uplifting music by one of the most decorated Contemporary Christian artists of all time!
Michael W. Smith has been releasing new music regularly and performing around the world to sold-out crowds for the last 35+ years. During his storied career, he's written and recorded over 36 No. 1 songs, been bestowed with three GRAMMY® Awards and 45 Dove Awards, one American Music Award, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and has sold more than 15 million albums. Amassing an in-depth catalog of achievements, Smith was also honored with a star-studded tribute concert in Nashville, TN to celebrate his 35 No. 1s, by a myriad of legendary performers. In 2021, he released a re-envisioned live version of his #1 highest-selling album of all time, Worship, in honor of its 20th anniversary. His critically acclaimed studio album A Million Lights and live worship album Surrounded have together become his 30th and 31st Top 10 hits on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart, more than any other solo artist in history. More than just an outstanding songwriter and performer, Smith has given back to the global community throughout his career. Smith has raised funds to battle AIDS in Africa, started Rocketown, a safe haven for young people in Tennessee to meet and find hope; and has helped more than 70,000 children through Compassion International. He has also written several bestselling books, including Old Enough To Know and Friends Are Friends Forever.
The Festival also welcomes, special guest, Cochren & Co. to the Tolley Dental Zone stage on Sunday afternoon, May 7. Michael Cochren is a singer/songwriter and worship leader born and raised in a small Indiana town. After graduating school, Cochren began playing music across the country with a band of friends under the name Cochren & Co. With hope filled lyrics and timeless melodies, Cochren & Co. blur the lines between American pop, soft rock, and soul/blues to create a sound all their own.
Dove Award Nominated Cochren & Co. have toured coast to coast accumulating a loyal following of new listeners wherever they go. Their debut full-length album Don’t Lose Hope was released on Gotee Records in 2021 and includes Billboard Top 10 Radio Hits Church (Take Me Back), One Day, and Who Can. The title-track Don’t Lose Hope was featured in a new episode of CBS’s MacGyver. On February 3, 2023 Cochren & Co. released their sophomore album Running Home. Michael Cochren recently
shared with fans, “I started the process for this album with the desire to expand our borders sonically and deepen the honesty of our lyrics. It was a true joy to create, and I pray it brings you joy, hope, and some windows down cranked up stereo FUN as you listen.” With a full touring schedule, including the TobyMac “Hits Deep Tour” and the release of their new album, Cochren & Co. is only getting started.
Tickets to Michael W. Smith with special guest, Cochren & Co., presented by Clean Water of Virginia, are available online at www.thebloom.com. Tickets range from $15.00 to $70.00. Doors to the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center open at Noon with Cochren & Co. taking the stage at 2:00 pm. Ticketholders are encouraged to arrive early to grab lunch from a broad selection of food vendors.
Noah Thompson & HunterGirl to co-headline the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by Q102 and participate in the GloFiber Grand Feature Parade
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is excited to announce that 2022 American Idol winner, Noah Thompson, and 2022 American Idol runner-up, HunterGirl, will co-headline the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by Q102 with Special Guest Ronne Wolford & 50 West on Saturday evening, May 6, 2023 at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Doors open at 7:00 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm. Artists will ride through the GloFiber Grand Feature Parade on Saturday afternoon, May 6, starting at 1:30 pm.
Over the years, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival’s Country Music Party has welcomed many notable artists as they launched their careers in the country music industry. 2023 is no different. Noah Thompson and HunterGirl won over hearts and wowed viewers in 2022 as they competed on Season 20 of American Idol, and we look forward to both bringing their high-energy to the Country Music Party stage!
Tickets go on sale for the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by Q102 at 12:00 Noon today. General admission tickets are $35.00. VIP tickets are $50.00 and include premium parking, special VIP entrance, exclusive VIP bar and Apple Blossom swag. Tickets are available at www.thebloom.com.
Noah Thompson Bio
People pulled for Noah Thompson when the Kentucky-born construction worker couldn’t pull for himself.
Some dreams simply seem out of reach when the limitations of growing up in a small town and the responsibilities of a one-year-old named Walker, make superstardom seem distant and meant for someone else. But America believed wholeheartedly in what Thompson couldn’t imagine for himself.
2022 American Idol Season 20 winner embodies the spirit of Country music: overcoming adversity and the odds to achieve widespread acclaim and the hearts of millions. This is more than a CinderNoah story; this is the culmination of an “American (Idol) Dream.”
Before he was performing for 2.5 million television viewers, Thompson was singing for a ragtag crew of a half dozen construction workers framing houses near his hometown of Louisa, KY (population 2,852). They were laborers with checkered pasts and/or limited options, and Thompson was a daily distraction.
“Those boys would have me singing any song they could find on their phones,” said Thompson. “They would push me and push me all the time. It would drive me nuts, but it obviously led to a good outcome.”
Likeable, humble, funny and clearly talented, Thompson was one of their own. One of the guys on the crew, whom Thompson had only known a couple months, decided to do something about it and submitted him for the American Idol auditions in Austin, Texas.
“When he signed me up, it was a big ‘No,’ recalled Thompson, who had never been on a plane prior to the auditions. “I really didn’t want him to do it. I could never really picture myself doing something like that. Being in that environment, surrounded by famous people like Luke Bryan and all them, it didn’t seem realistic to me.
“Where we come from, it’s just such a small town, man. When you see someone make it out of here, it’s kind of like magic made that happened. It’s unrealistic in a way. It doesn’t seem like that can happen for you.”
During his winning season on American Idol judge Luke Bryan summed it up: “You are going to ‘Aw, shucks’ your way to the top.”
And then he did.
Releasing his debut song “One Day Tonight” during the show, the catchy, romantic track immediately shot to No. 1 on iTunes All Genres and Country charts and is still racking up an incredible number of on-demand streams, averaging nearly 1 million per week.
Now, Thompson is taking it all in and finding his footing as he prepares to release new music with 19 Recordings under an exclusive license to BBR Music Group. He’s writing songs and working with some of the most sought-after tunesmiths in Nashville, and he is working with notable producer Jimmy Robbins (Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton).
“From the second you meet Noah, you’re rooting for him,” said Robbins, who has penned 10 No. 1 singles. “Not only is he incredibly talented, but he’s one of the most genuine people I’ve worked with. When he steps up to the mic in the studio, it feels like he’s been doing this for years. I can’t wait to see what’s next for him.”
Bolstered by the American Idol judges’ confidence in his talent and the nation’s overwhelming support, the early fan-favorite’s humble and kind demeanor instantly connected with fans, and when he put his rough-hewn Country vocals on Rihanna’s R&B smash hit “Stay” during the “showstopper round,” the rising star had his ultimate breakout moment.
The natural break in his vocals added a depth of emotion and an authentic ache to the song. “People love that song, and I’m happy people are still loving it,” Thompson said.
And they’re loving it so much so, he released his rendition of “Stay” on July 29, 2022 – the song that changed his trajectory on the show and proved why he deserved to be named the winner of this year’s American Idol.
A Tennessee native, singer/songwriter HunterGirl has been performing since she was three years old and writing songs since she was nine. In her early teens, she performed at venues across the United States, competed in singing competitions and won the 2014 Texaco Country Showdown. After graduating high school, she moved to Nashville and immediately started playing gigs at Nashville’s most famous venues including Tootsie’s, Rippy’s, Jason Aldean’s Bar, The Listening Room, and HonkyTonk Central, winning songwriting contests such as “Nash Next” and the prestigious “Nashville Songwriter Association International” in her spare time.
Due to having family members who served in the military, HunterGirl holds a deep admiration for our Country’s armed forces and tenaciously works with many veteran organizations, where she uses music therapy to transform veterans’ stories into songs. She’s shared the stage with Country superstars Old Dominion, Florida Georgia Line, Kane Brown, Alan Jackson, Trace Adkins, Charlie Daniels, Sara Evans and more.
Most recently, she competed on this year’s American Idol, where the “country singer with a bright future” (Hollywood Life) delivered standout performances that Taste of Country called “impressive,” “shining,” “chill-worthy,” and “glowing,” winning the hearts of millions across the country. Praised by Idol judge and Country superstar Luke Bryan as the “new age Miranda Lambert” and his “favorite female Country voice,” “HunterGirl has wowed the Country music community since she stepped foot onto the American Idol stage” (Billboard). “Despite missing out on the win, her crooning vocals and intimate original song, ‘Red Bird,’ has made her one to watch in the Country scene (American Songwriter). Skyrocketing to No. 1 on iTunes All-Genre and Country charts, “the budding Country star” (Taste of Country) performed her heartfelt and deeply personal original track “Red Bird” on Live with Kelly & Ryan and has appeared on Good Morning America. With distinctively and incomparably genuine vocals, unwavering drive, and a heart of gold, HunterGirl is on the fast track to be Country’s next big female artist.
Special Guest, Ronnie Wolford & 50 West Bio
Ronnie Wolford and 50 West have made a name for themselves throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley region since forming in early 2022. With over 100 years of combined musical experience, Ronnie Wolford & 50 West’s collective talent is on full display every time the band takes the stage. The band’s diverse set list ranges from Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie, and Johnny Cash, to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and more.
Members of the band have opened for Country Music legends including Craig Morgan, Ronnie Milsap, John Anderson, Charlie Daniels, and Confederate Railroad.
Ronnie Wolford- Front Man & Founding Member, Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Brent Wolford- Lead Guitar, Vocals & Second Generation of Wolford Music
Logan Garrett- Lead Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Curt Creswell- Drums, Vocals
Rob (Robo) Wolf, Bass, Vocals
Kickoff Labor Day Weekend at the 2nd Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® HoneyCar BBQ & Brews event at Frederick County Fairgrounds
Winchester, VA – Avoid the high gas prices and plan a staycation on Labor Day weekend. The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® and Concern Hotline are partnering once again for a fun-filled community celebration on Labor Day weekend.
Kickoff your three-day weekend at the 23rd Annual Concern Hotline Fish Fry on Friday evening, September 2, 2022 from 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Concern Hotline will be serving fried fish with sides. Junkfood and DJ Skyhigh will play live on stage. Visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/concern-hotlines-23rd-annual-friday-fish-fry-celebration-tickets-372272014617 to purchase tickets.
On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy local BBQ, craft beer, hard cider, live music, bourbon tasting, a Cornhole Tournament and other fun tailgate games at the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® HoneyCar BBQ & Brews. The event takes place from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm on Saturday, September 3, 2022 and Noon to 6:00 pm on Sunday, September 4, 2022 at the Frederick County Fairgrounds.
Enjoy a wide selection of BBQ from on-site vendors who will be serving up pulled pork, ribs, brisket, chicken and lots more with all the fixins'. Other food options will be available on-site. Stop by the local artisan and crafter booths to check out their selection of unique, custom and handmade goods.
Several local craft beer breweries, hard cider and bourbon distilleries will be on hand including:
Craft Beer Hard Cider Bourbon & Whiskey
Alesatian Brewing Co. Old Town Cidery Catoctin Creek Distilling
Escutcheon Brewing Co. Winchester Cider Works Evan Williams Bourbon
Devils Backbone Filibuster Distillery
Winchester Brew Works KO Distilling
Dividing Creek Beer Company
Broken Window Brewing Co.
Enjoy live local and regional entertainment both days on the MC Fence of Winchester Stage.
Saturday, September 3 Lineup Sunday, September 4 Lineup
11:00 am Downtown Garage 12:00 pm Shotgun Shiver
2:00 pm Rock Bottom Band 3:00 pm Brickyard Road - Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Band
5:00 pm Raised on Analog
Pick a partner and compete in the Valley Cycle Center Cornhole Tournament for a chance to win great prizes! Three tournaments are scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Saturday and 2:00 pm on Sunday. The fee to compete in the tournaments are included in the BBQ & Brews ticket price. Register for the tournament when you order your event tickets at https://www.thebloom.com/2022-bbq--brews.html.
Labor Day weekend means the start of the college football season. Sit back and enjoy live games and cheer on your favorite team on several monitors throughout the venue. The Carmeuse Tailgate Area is a great spot to enjoy nostalgic and traditional tailgate games with your friends. Giant Jenga, Spike Ball, axe throwing, Kan Jam, giant Connect 4, basketball pop-a-shot, and oversized chess & checkers are just a few of the fun games in tailgating area.
Tickets are on sale at https://www.thebloom.com/2022-bbq--brews.html.
Single day ADVANCE VIP Tickets ($45.00) include:
9 sampling tickets for your choice of craft beer, hard cider or bourbon
Souvenir tasting glass
BBQ dinner plate
Entry into the Cornhole Tournament, tailgating games and live college football games
VIP Tickets will only be sold in advance and are not available at the gate.
Single Day General Admission Tickets ($25.00 in Advance/$30.00 at the Gate) include:
6 sampling tickets for your choice of craft beer, hard cider or bourbon
Souvenir tasting glass
Entry into the Cornhole Tournament, tailgating games and live college football games
Non-Drinking Tickets are $10. Children 12 and under are FREE.
Kara Britz SagAftra Vocal Contractor Blake Shelton Band Court Ambassador at the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah
Tommy Price, president of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® welcomes Kara Britz back home to Winchester to serve at the Court Ambassador at the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah XCV, Mia Dorsett. Kara will be performing at the Coronation and at the Malloy Toyota Country Music Dance.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Kara Lee Britz is the daughter of a musically-gifted mother and a music-loving father. She is the youngest of three musical children and spent time living in Germany before the family settled down In Winchester, Virginia. At age 6 Kara began classical piano lessons and sang along to both gospel and contemporary classics. In typical Kara fashion, she followed her own beat and started drum lessons in the 4th grade!
By age 11, Kara was playing drums and singing in a band called TCC, sponsored by Grove’s Harley-Davidson. In 2002, her band, Luckie & Almost Country, played the local bars, Harley-Davidson events, and Winchester’s Apple Blossom Festival, even though she was years away from a driver’s license or entry into the clubs where she played. Kara dedicated her middle school and high school nights and weekends to writing, recording, and cultivating her ability, including happy hours every Friday night at the former Sweet Caroline’s, accompanied by Phil Zuckerman and David Linaburg, throughout her junior and senior years of high school.
Growing up in Winchester afforded Kara the best opportunities to hone her craft with the support of a truly encouraging community. Singing in Elaine Aikens' school choirs from 6th grade at Daniel Morgan Middle School through her senior year before graduating from John Handley High in 2004, gave Kara one of her first “pinch me” moments…the unique opportunity to sing “I’m Sorry” as a special tribute to Brenda Lee at the Coronation in 2001 with Brenda in attendance as the Grand Marshal. This opened the door to strike up a coveted mentorship with Brenda Lee, all thanks to the Apple Blossom Festival. Mrs. Aikens and Kara’s late drum teacher, Steve Kastuck, always encouraged and supported Kara and gave her the confidence to continue to be bold in her efforts. Kara is so thankful for the amazing support the Winchester community continues to lend her to this day.
Two weeks after graduating high school, Kara celebrated her parents’ blessing to move to Los Angeles, and pursue her musical ambitions. She attended the Musician’s Institute studying voice and quickly found herself singing on major label records and alongside established artists. Booking her first international tour in 2009 with Japanese mega star, Eikichi Yazawa, Kara began to see how this could become a full-time career. After returning from Japan, Kara worked for Cher during her Las Vegas Caesar’s Palace Residency and then was hired to join Joe Cocker’s band for his Hard Knock’s World Tour. She credits Joe for taking her on her first trip around the globe, sharing special memories like performing at the Kremlin Palace, for the Prince of Monaco, the Princess of Morocco, and on hit European shows like Wetten Das, and ultimately singing a duet “You Loved Me Back,” on Joe Cocker’s last studio album ever released.
"My biggest fans are my family members. There are things you can only imagine yourself doing, things you wish you could try, and then there are the things that only become possible because of your support group. All of the little things that stop most people from realizing their dreams were eliminated by my family, and I was given the green light to pursue them. Little things like rent, food, transportation, clothes, and all of the other things that were required were very unselfishly absorbed by my family. My brother Corey (bass player for BUSH) was an established musician in LA when I got here, and his experience and support and his knowledge of music were incredibly invaluable to me. My sister, Kelley, who is literally my very best friend, was in LA as a full-time model and let me live with her and became my LA mother for several years."
Following the Joe Cocker tour, Kara was asked to join Paul Mirkovich’s (Cher, Janet Jackson, Pink) house band for NBC’s Hit Show, The Voice. Since Season 2 (through the recently wrapped Season 21), Kara has served as backing vocalist as well as vocal contractor for the show. In the last 10 years, Kara has had the privilege to hire over 75 Sag Aftra working LA vocalists to join her on stage backing up each season’s hopeful contestants as well as countless guest performers including some of Kara’s biggest inspirations: Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Gwen Stefani, Bob Segar, Michael Buble, Sheryl Crow, Christina Aguilera, Pharrell Williams, Adam Levine, CeeLo Green, Shakira, and her idol, Kelly Clarkson.
Working at The Voice opened up the opportunity to contract and/or sing for other television performances including Songland, The Masked Singer, The Grammys, The Oscars, and The Kelly Clarkson Show. The Voice is also where Kara met Blake Shelton. Blake hired Kara on the set of The Voice to become a full-time member of his band in 2015. With Blake, Kara has had the pleasure of performing on some of country’s biggest stages including The Grand Ole Opry, CMA Fest, Academy of Country Music Awards, The Houston Rodeo, and The Grammy’s. Blake also hired Kara to sing on his Grammy-nominated record, “God’s Country” as well as "Minimum Wage" and his “Blake Shelton Live” album released on Spotify. With Blake, Kara has had the honor of sharing the stage with top country artists, including Trace Adkins, Martina McBride, Tracy Byrd, The Bellamy Brothers, John Anderson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Luke Bryan, and Little Big Town.
These days you can find Kara anywhere Blake Shelton may be, and she might just pop up unexpectedly! Most recently, Kara was asked to backup Mickey Guyton to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Kara continues to have “pinch me moments” as she enters her 18th year in Los Angeles as a full-time vocalist, and being asked to come home for the Apple Blossom Festival is a HUGE honor for her. Winchester’s community along with her family is whom Kara credits for molding her into the tenacious, kind-hearted, Christian woman she prides herself in being today.
Kara will be making appearances at many Festival events. The Coronation presented by Morgan Orthodontics will be Friday, April 29, at 1:30 p.m. at Handley High School and the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party is Saturday, April 30, at 8 p.m. at the Tolley Dental Zone located at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Tickets for all Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® What’s New at the 2022 Bloom-Part Three release below highlights tickets and information for events that are now on sale. Festival goers are encouraged to order tickets early before popular events sell out.
Stonebrook Club Tennis Tournament
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is excited to announce the return of its annual USTA-sanctioned Stonebrook Club Tennis Tournament, presented by Partlow Insurance. Now in its sixth year, the event promises to be competitive and exciting for tennis players of all levels. The success of the tournament grows each year, attracting local and out-of-town tennis players and spectators. To register, visit www.thebloom.com. $50.00 entry fee for single event. $25.00 entry fee for double events.
Registered participants receive tennis-themed items or locally sourced goodies. Trophies are awarded to champions in each division.
The tournament will take place at Stonebrook Club of Winchester on Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24, 2022. Stonebrook Club offers nine courts: four indoor and five outdoor. Two of the outdoor courts are clay-surfaced and lit for evening play. The facility is in a lovely area of rolling hills and blooming orchards in beautiful Winchester.
As the event date approaches, participants and spectators are encouraged to check for updates on www.thebloom.com or social media. You may also contact the Tennis Tournament Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McDonald’s Esports Tournament (New Event)
The McDonald's Esports Competitive Event presented by Shenandoah University Esports is a tournament-style event offering Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Fortnite competitions hosted at the Shenandoah University Esports Arena. The event will be held on Sunday, April 24th and will run from 10am to 5pm EST. This event requires a registration fee to enter and must be submitted by 11pm EST on Saturday, April 23rd. A cash prize and other gaming related prizes such as Respawn Gaming Chairs will be available for tournament entrants to win. Competitors must be at least 13 years old to enter. Fortnite will be run on a PC, and it is recommended that you bring your own controller. Be on the lookout for specific details and additional information on www.thebloom.com as the event date comes around! Registration is $25.00 per player.
Spectators are encouraged to view the competition either inside the Esports Arena (25 spectators max) or at the Shenandoah University Business School located adjacent to the Esports Arena (250 spectators max.) Viewing tickets are only $5. Visit www.thebloom.com to register to participate or purchase viewing tickets.
Navy Federal Credit Union Veterans Dinner Show (New Event)
Come join us at “The Bloom” for a unique experience as we celebrate our veterans at the Navy Federal Credit Union Veterans Dinner Show, presented by Omps Funeral Home & Cremation Center at 5:00 pm on Tuesday evening, April 26 at Millwood Station Events Center. Cocktail hour will feature our local Veteran Service Organizations where you can meet Veterans, learn about who they are and what they do! Dinner will open with a missing man ceremony, remembering those who are no longer with us and posting of the colors. Enjoy a dinner show with the Pin-Ups on Tour bringing back the nostalgia of the 40’s and 50’s Salute to the Troops inspired show! You may even get a chance to snap a picture with one of our period dress folks and Uncle Sam! You will also see military memorabilia of past and present. So, don your best vintage dinner dress and come show support for our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and guardians!
PIN-UPS ON TOUR is a good time for a great cause. From the moment guests enter the event, they will be treated to something special. The PIN-UPS ON TOUR takes great pride in recreating the magic of the Hollywood Canteen that operated during the 1940's as a club offering dancing, drinks and entertainment for service members, usually on their way overseas. The evening will feature dancing showgirls, comedy, variety acts, soulful lounge singers, vintage candy girls and more than a few surprises! With entertainment & atmosphere around every turn, guests will feel like they stepped into another era.
Tickets are $50.00.
The Willows at Meadow Branch Young at Heart Dance
The Willows at Meadow Branch Young at Heart Luncheon and Dance will spring to life at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 28th at Millwood Station Event Center. Music provided by The Nitehawks Swing Band, to delight dancers and listeners alike as we spend an afternoon with old and new friends and dance away the day.
A highlight of event festivities includes a visit by the Queen XCV-designate and her court as she begins her whirlwind weekend.
The Willows at Meadow Branch Young at Heart Luncheon is truly a wonderful way to kick off your Apple Blossom weekend. We hope to see you there. Tickets are $35.00.
The Village at Orchard Ridge Queen’s Dinner
The Village at Orchard Ridge Queen's Dinner, presented by F&M Bank has been held for more than four decades and ushers in the celebration of the 95th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® as Queen Shenandoah XCV-designate is presented. The Queen-designate and her court will enter through an arch of sabers held by cadets from Randolph-Macon Academy and a trumpeter’s fanfare. The evening is filled with tradition and festivities, including a delicious catered meal, and gifts and greetings from special dignitaries throughout the community.
The Queen’s Dinner will take place at Millwood Station Event Center on Thursday evening, April 28, 2022. Cocktail hour starts at 5:00 pm and dinner is at 6:00 pm. Tickets are $60.00.
The dinner is hosted by the civic clubs of the Winchester area.
Old Town Midway
The Old Town Midway continues to evolve into a festive and entertaining destination. The Midway features family friendly games including water balloon races, duck ponds, fishing games, mini basketball, and others many of which are prize every-time entertainment. A family-oriented Kids Zone featuring moon bounces, rock wall, face painting, and bungee jumping.
Food vendors from all over the East Coast serve traditional fair food as well as novelty and international cuisine. The live entertainment makes the atmosphere electric with local bands that have great followings.
Grab a Funnel Cake, Cotton Candy, or a corn dog and enjoy the fun atmosphere!
The Old Town Midway is open on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm each day.
Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon
The Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon, presented by Spring Arbor Senior Living began as an unofficial Festival event and informal luncheon in a private home. Now it is sponsored by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Virginia State Horticultural Society and recognized as an official event of the Festival. The luncheon has grown from a small gathering to a springtime celebration enjoyed by hundreds of people. It has always been one of the most elegant activities of the Festival.
A delicious lunch, an outstanding keynote speaker, wonderful door prizes, and table favors contribute to a time of food, fun, and fellowship. In the past, we have been entertained and inspired by authors, a finalist from Project Runway, and Winchester’s very own Lauryn Ricketts, a DC network meteorologist. Proceeds from this event provide scholarships for Virginia Tech horticultural students.
Margo Oxidine will be the featured speaker at the Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon. Margo writes columns for two newspapers and is a featured writer in the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative Living magazine, seen throughout Virginia.
The Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon will take place at 10:30 am on Friday, April 29, 2022 at Millwood Station Event Center. Tickets are $35.00. Please call the Festival office at (540) 662-3863 for ticket information.
Coronation of Queen Shenandoah
The Coronation of Queen Shenandoah, presented by Morgan Orthodontics, is one of the oldest and most notable traditions of the Apple Blossom Festival. Many Winchester residents recall the magnificent pageants produced for so many years by the late Dr. Garland R. Quarles. Pageants were held on the steps of John Handley High School where children from all of the schools in Winchester performed for the Queen and her Court.
Audiences will now enjoy a new Coronation Ceremony written and directed by Elaine Aikens. This year for the very first time, the children will participate in speaking parts for the Coronation of the Queen. The Narrator is Dr. Paul Ulich and the prelate is Reverend Mathew Borbor.
The traditional Royal Command Performance is presented by The Handley Singers to honor the Queen.
The Coronation takes place at John Handley High School on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 1:30 pm. Tickets are $20.00.
American Woodmark Fireworks Show & TREX Music Fest
Fireworks and music will resonate through the streets of Winchester on Friday evening, April 29 at dusk immediately following the Firefighters’ Parade. Family and friends by the thousands will fill the streets and gather on the campus of John Handley High School for the TREX Music Fest and American Woodmark Fireworks show. Noted as the areas grandest fireworks show, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is pleased to partner with TREX and American Woodmark to bring back a free fireworks and music show to our springtime celebration.
Anthony’s Pizza Senseny Road Bloomin’ Sunday
How can you cap off the most amazing springtime festival around? End your Apple Blossom by visiting the Anthony’s Pizza – Senseny Road Bloomin’ Sunday on May 1, 2022, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Frederick County Fairgrounds and Stonewall District Ruritans Club Grounds.
This event has evolved and changed over the years to become what it is today. Maintaining some of the history and adding new activities, it is sure to entertain the entire family. There will be plenty of room for everyone to enjoy all that we have to offer including:
Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 4-10. Children under 4 years old are FREE.
For 88 years, members of the Winchester and Frederick County firefighters have coordinated the annual Firefighters’ Parade through the streets of downtown Winchester. In 2022, the Firefighters’ Parade will step off at 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening, April 29th.
Come downtown to the Midway for carnival food, games and entertainment and then head over to the parade route to see the Antique Firetruck's start with the pre-parade, some trucks date back to the early 1920's! Our local Fire Companies are in the First Division to show off their equipment. There are celebrities, Miss Honorary Fire Company winners, bands and special units. There are 4 Divisions with Fire and Rescue Equipment from all over the Mid-Atlantic Region. The final division is the Siren Division where the Fire Companies sound their horns. This is a wonderful community event, where friends and families gather to Thank our first responders.
The first Torchlight and Mummers’ Parade in 1929 stepped off at 8 p.m. with each of the Winchester fire departments participating. Each firefighter carried a flaming torch. No parade was held from 1942 to 1945 during the war and 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID 19 pandemic. From this humble beginning, it is now the largest and one of the oldest annual firefighters’ parades in the world.
glofiber Grand Feature Parade
Since 1941 the Winchester Host Lions Club has coordinated the glofiber Grand Feature Parade through the historic streets in downtown Winchester. In 2022, the Grand Feature Parade will step off at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, April 30th and will include five parade divisions. From start to finish the parade is nearly 4 hours long!
The 195+ unit parade has special and equestrian units, floats, and marching bands. The glofiber Grand Feature Parade features bands like the Quantico Marine Band, Steelers Drumline, Community and High School bands from the Mid-Atlantic Region. The route winds for 1.5 miles around the historic downtown area and passes by the iconic John Handley High School campus.
After two years of no parades due to the COVID pandemic, we are pleased to announce that a special 5th “Hero’s” Division has been added to the glofiber Grand Feature Parade lineup in 2022. Join us as we celebrate and honor the hero’s in our community who helped us get through the pandemic.
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® has a knack for recognizing and showcasing up and coming country music talent and the Malloy Toyota Country Music Party, presented by Q102 lineup is sure to please fans yet again. In years past, the Festival has welcomed artists like Blake Shelton and Billy Currington in 2004, Parmalee in 2018, Jimmie Allen in 2019 and many others onto our stage as they were establishing their names in the country music industry. For 2022, we are pleased to announce that Sam Grow will be headlining the show with special guest, Ryan Jewel from 8:00 pm to midnight on Saturday evening, April 30 at the Tolley Dental Zone at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. Tickets are $35.00 and are available at www.thebloom.com.
All of us can remember moments that changed our lives and hopefully the lives of those we love.
Ask Sam Grow and he’ll tell you he’s had maybe three. The first came in high school, when his father agreed to buy Sam the guitar he desperately wanted — but only on one fateful condition. The next came the day he first held his newborn daughter, a moment that prompted him to make a special vow he has kept ever since. And the third involved his decision to pass by several tempting opportunities until the perfect one came along – signing with Average Joes Entertainment.
Since signing with the Nashville-based label in 2019, Grow has amassed 40+ million streams across all Digital Service Platforms, was named to Billboard’s coveted “7 Country Acts To Watch” list, and was recently pegged by Music Row magazine as “On Board For Strong Bids For Future Stardom.” His 2020 hit single, “Song About You,” from his EP, Me And Mine, was listed as one of Spotify’s "Best Country Songs of 2020-Wrapped," and his 2019 album, “Love and Whiskey,” debuted at #1 on iTunes Country albums chart.
“Love and Whiskey” was a self-portrait that spoke to listeners as if they had written those songs themselves. Add his insight as a singer, his ability to convey loneliness, love and laughter with equal eloquence, and you’ve got an album that represents the best of modern country.
Grow began his journey in Mechanicsville, Maryland, where his father J.R. worked on power lines by day and enjoyed singing and listening to music at home at night. Sam started showing signs of talent early — so early that at age 5, after his family had moved to Winfield, Kansas, he made his debut singing “Amazing Grace” at the local Baptist church. Winfield also hosts the annual Walnut Valley Festival, which featured many of the best bluegrass singers and players. This, too, opened Grow’s eyes and ears.
At age 10 he began writing songs. By the time his parents divorced, Grow understood that music can be something more than a hobby or distraction. “I saw a lot of things that kids of 12 or 13 shouldn’t have to see,” he recalls. “I felt that I had something to say about those moments. That’s why I started writing about them. Eventually music became my escape, a way to get away from whatever was bad.”
Grow and his father moved back to Maryland, where their close bond grew even tighter. This takes us to that first milestone in Sam’s life. When he begged Dad to buy him a guitar, J.R. agreed to with one stipulation: Sam had to promise to use it to develop his own music — specifically, he would not use it to just imitate Green Day and other bands who were on the radio at that time.
Sam accepted those terms. It wasn’t until many years later that he found out his father spent $500 on the instrument by maxing out his credit card. Sam learned about more than music from this. “That’s why I say Dad was my biggest influence,” he explains. “And not just in music. He tried to excel at everything he did. Watching him striving always to be the best he could be definitely inspired me to try turning nothing into something.”
And he still owns that guitar.
When he was 15 Sam went with his father to Nashville. J.R. was there on business but he found time to sneak his son into Robert’s Western Wear, the classic Music City honky-tonk. Just one year later Sam was playing shows and leading his own band. Eventually he enrolled at the College of Southern Maryland as a music major, but left after a while and got back to making music. He knew then and knows today that he really had no other choice, and this was entirely because of that second milestone.
When he held his infant daughter for the first time, he says, “I realized that I was her first example of what a man is. I didn’t want to be the kind of man who said, ‘I had a dream to play music but then I had you and set it aside.’ That’s the worst thing you can tell a child. Looking at her, I wanted her to grow up knowing that I did chase my dreams. I wanted her to believe, like me, that the world is limitless.”
So Grow devoted full time to playing, performing and writing. He cut an indie album, Ignition, in 2009 and began touring beyond the Maryland territory, with shows booked in Los Angeles, San Diego, Vancouver and other far-flung destinations. When he landed a gig at Nashville Underground, he impulsively blind-texted producer Matt McClure, though they’d never met, inviting him to come down and catch a set or two. Impressed, McClure started introducing Grow to major publishers. Deals were offered immediately. Grow moved to Nashville in 2013 and started releasing his own music, beginning with a self-titled EP in 2014 and followed by The Blame in 2017 and A Little Like Me in 2018.
One last milestone remained. When Grow was booked to open for Colt Ford, the iconic country rapper invited him onto his bus to write a song with him and mutual friend Taylor Phillips. “We wrote one song,” Grow notes. “Then we wrote another song. Then Colt says, ‘I want more people to hear your music. Will you please come and sign with Average Joes?’”
That leads directly to Love And Whiskey, with Grow’s band providing the music as promised and Jacob Rice producing. Ironically, the first two singles were the only cuts he didn’t co-write. Yet “Boots” and “History” both seem to have been tailored to his story. “Boots,” in particular, came to him at exactly the right moment, just a few weeks after his father had passed. Josh Thompson’s lyrics touched something in Grow, whose memories of J.R. include the favorite pair of boots he wore throughout his life.
“Every time I play ‘Boots’ and I get to the hook, the people who have been following react and personally because they know how it connects to my feelings about my dad,” Grow insists. “But it also hits home when I sing it for a new audience, like I did recently on the Tyler Farr tour, because it speaks to his audience and mine: hard-working, blue-collar people who wake up every morning, strap their boots on and get to work.”
Like many artists, Ryan Jewel was drawn to music at a young age. When he got his first guitar, there was no turning back. By high school, Ryan started playing with the idea of becoming a professional musician. By his sophomore year at Clemson University, Ryan and his fellow bandmate, Andrew Beam, were burning up every bar, club, sorority, and fraternity party they were able to. They went by the name Beam & Jewel and played 3 nights a week for the remainder of Ryan's college career.
A native of Front Royal, Virginia, the country music singer/songwriter released his first EP "Up on the Drive" in 2016. This EP helped him gain traction with his music career around his hometown, the Shenandoah Valley, and further. Along with his EP, Ryan was a runner-up in the 2015 Texaco Country Showdown, a nationwide talent search, which solidified Ryan's calling for a music career. Ryan has had the privilege of being the opening act for some major country artist's such as Marty Stuart and Lauren Alaina. He has also shared the stage with fellow Nashville artists, and Clemson buddies, Cody Webb and Doug McCormick.
Ryan's rich, baritone vocals, paired with his authentic songwriting, which reflect his own life experiences, have help build him a strong fan base who enjoy Ryan's "what you see is what you get" style of shows and attitude.
When Ryan moved to Nashville in 2017, he hit the ground running; signing a management deal with Harmony Music Group Mgt just two weeks after moving to town. "If we didn't sign him, someone would've jumped all over him as soon as he opened his mouth around town and started singing" - (Fred Conley) He started singing demo's for many established writers around town and soon after, began writing with many of those same writer's.
Ryan recently released his second studio EP "Heads, i'm yours..." to all digital platforms and is currently selling hard copies along with new merchandise at all of his shows.
The 94th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® will look much different due to current COVID-19 restrictions, however the Festival is working and planning under these new set of rules that will result in temporary changes for our 2021 Festival. Nevertheless, we will be “Back in Bloom” and taking full advantage of the unique opportunity to celebrate the arrival of spring.
The Festival is pleased to announce our Thursday, Friday and Saturday dance party lineup and ticket availability.
Sheetz 80’s Dance Party
Back by popular demand, the Sheetz 80’s Dance Party will take place on Friday evening, April 30, 2021 at the Tolley Dental Zone at the Frederick County Fairgrounds in Clear Brook, VA. Doors open at 5:00 pm and live music will begin at 6:00 pm. (Please note new start time for event!) General admission tickets are on sale for $35.00 and only 900 tickets will be sold for this event.
The Sheetz 80’s Dance Party is mixing things up a bit by welcoming two new acts to our party stage in 2021. Straight from Atlanta, GA in their 13th year together, DEPARTURE is the most respected Journey tribute band in the nation. DEPARTURE replicates the look, sound and feel of the original 80’s rock super group, Journey. These veteran musicians love what they do and have developed an amazing on-stage chemistry. They pride themselves on giving their audience an incredible high-energy, qualitative stage show from start to finish. Dressed in the iconic tuxedo jacket, DEPARTURE lead vocalist, Brian Williams, has an amazing singing voice, flawlessly matching Steve Perry’s vocal range and on-stage movements.
DEPARTURE plays all the hit songs that everyone knows and loves. Their performance is professional and highly engaging for their audience. Everything heard during their performance is live with no pre-recorded tracks used. Performing over one hundred shows nationally per year, DEPARTURE brings the very best of Journey to audiences of all ages.
Opening for DEPARTURE, is local sensation Raised On Analog. Raised on Analog combines the talents of a varied group of musicians to provide an entertaining and energetic mix of popular music. Theyt combine the danceability of Funk, Pop and Country, the recognizable lyrics of Classic Rock anthems with the raw power of 80's hits to create an experience that has something for everyone.
Get your tickets early as this popular dance is sure to sell out again! Guests may purchase beer and select mixed drinks, which will include a specialty drink reminiscent of the 80's era! Festival food and concessions will be available for purchase at the Frederick County Fair Midway.
The Sheetz 80's Dance Party is under outdoor tents at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. This is a rain or shine event.
Allstate Insurance 90’s Dance Party
Prepare to go back to the golden era of music where the Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Nsync, Fugees, and Hanson tunes ruled the airwaves. Hip hop artists and Seattle grunge bands filled our mixed tapes and CD collections.
The Allstate Insurance 90's Dance Party will take place on Thursday evening, April 29, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Tolley Dental Zone at the Frederick County Fairgrounds in Clear Brook, VA...Doors open at 5 p.m. Tickets to this new event are only $20.00. Only 900 tickets will be sold and are sure to sell out fast!
Dance the night away with As If - the Ultimate 90's Tribute Band. Winner of 2018 Best Cover Band by the Maryland Music Awards, As If brings their authentic, energetic live performance to the Festival's first-ever 90's Dance Party featuring the legendary music that made the 90's all that AND a bag of chips.
Find your plaid flannel shirts, stonewashed baggy blue jeans, Doc Martens, combat boots, Birkenstocks, and high-top sneakers and compete in the costume contest. Great prizes will be awarded to the best dressed! Get your tickets early as this new dance is sure to sell out!
Guests may purchase beer and select mixed drinks, which will include a specialty drink reminiscent of the 90's era! Festival food and concessions will be available for purchase at the Frederick County Fairgrounds Midway.
The Allstate Insurance 90's Dance Party is under outdoor tents at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. This is a rain or shine event.
Ability Home Care Country Music Party
The Ability Home Care Country Music Party, presented by Shenandoah Country Q102, an iHeartMedia Station, will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at the Tolley Dental Zone located at the Frederick County Fairgrounds in Clear Brook, VA. Doors and live music begin at 2:00 pm. General admission tickets are on sale for $25.00 and only 900 tickets will be sold for this event.
Continuing its tradition of offering great country acts at an amazingly affordable price, this year’s party showcases four outstanding “homegrown” country performers: Bryan Frazier, Ryan Jewel, Chris Darlington, and Ronnie Wolford. The Festival is proud to bring these young, up and coming stars together on one stage.
Tickets for the Ability Home Care Country Music Party are only $25.00 and can be purchased online or at the Official Souvenir & Ticket Outlet opening in early April. In addition to an afternoon and evening full of great music, there will be plenty of adult beverages (ID required), as well as hot food on the midway. Please, no outside food and drink, or large purses and bags inside the Tolley Dental Zone.
Schedule is subject to change.
Ronnie Wolford and Logan Garrett (acoustic duo) 2:00 PM 3:30 PM
Chris Darlington 3:45 PM 5:15 PM
Ryan Jewel 5:45 PM 7:30 PM
Bryan Frazier 8:00 PM 10:00 PM
This event is under outdoors tents at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Rain or shine.
In addition to the events listed above, limited tickets are still available for the Bloomers’ Luncheon, WineFest, Pumps & Pearls Party, Prayer Lunch, and Business at the Bloom events. The What’s New at the 2021 Bloom – Part Four!!! press release will be sent out next Friday, March 5, 2021 at 12:00 NOON.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.thebloom.com, at Festival Headquarters located at 135 N Cameron Street, Winchester, VA, or by calling (540) 662-3863. Event goers should expect to follow CDC and state mandates issued by the Governor in order to participate in events.
Bradley S. Veach, Executive Director
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
135 North Cameron Street, Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 662-3863 | email@example.com | www.thebloom.com
It was an exciting evening of performances on Wednesday, Feb. 12, for the first round of auditions of the annual 2020 Anthony’s Pizza “Apple Blossom’s Got Talent!” contest.
The Bright Box Theater hosted 24 acts, and 12 semi-finalists were chosen including Spontanea Band, Azure Wolf Band, Trinity Jenkins, Isabella McDevitt, Randy Martono-Chai, Ani Dyles, Raen Band, Mayley White, Jack Butler, Madison Starke, Taylah Bailey, and Paige Stickley.
Theresa Gaines, chair of the event which is part of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® to be held April 24 to May 3, reminds the public that there is just one more evening of auditions, which is slated for Wednesday, March 11 – register online, the deadline is March 7th.
Contestants who win at the two first-round auditions will compete in the semi-finals on Wednesday, April 8, and winners from that event will compete in the finals on Wednesday, April 29. The finals will be held during the 93rd festival whose theme is “Forever Apple Blossom.” All contests will begin at 7 p.m. at the Bright Box in downtown Winchester. Prizes awarded at the final event include first place, $2,000; second place, $1,000; and third place, $500.
Rules and guidelines are posted on our website. A sample of talent and background music (if needed) for audition must be included with the application. A URL or MP3 is needed for the application process.
Audience tickets for the March 13 auditions are $10 in the downstairs theater and $5 for the upstairs location.
Click here for registration and ticket information, or go to our contact page for phone, address and online form.
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.