Four young women from the Winchester area have been selected to serve as Maids in the Court of Queen Shenandoah XCV during the 95th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, April 28 through May I, 2022. The Maids are Elia Maria Norton, Yeakley Eden Pullen, Margaret Wyndham Smith, and Sarah Katherine Smith.
Elia Norton is the granddaughter of B.J. Dove of Winchester, VA. She is the great granddaughter of Polly Manuel of Winchester and the late Eddie Manuel. Elia is a sophomore at Lord Fairfax Community College majoring in early childhood education. She is a member of Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she volunteers on many committees. Elia has been an active member in the Girl Scout Organization for I3 years and has now received a lifetime membership. Elia is a 2019 graduate of John Handley High School. She was a member of the Handley Color Guard, participated with Girls on the Run as a Jr. Coach, running buddy, and runner. She also participated in Winchester Public School's system wide musicals for 7 years.
Elia has volunteered with the Kids Club of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, Watts, and the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® on the Tent/Event, Bluegrass, and Bloomers committees.
Yeakley Pullen is the daughter of Crystal and Adrian Pullen of Winchester. She is the granddaughter of Mary Ann Pullen and Pressley Pullen, Jr., of Winchester, and the late Barbara Zydelis and Robert Zydelis. Yeakley is a junior at The University of Alabama majoring in communicative disorders with a minor in human development. She is a member of Delta Zeta sorority where she served as a Diamond Leader and was appointed as a Sigma Rho Chi through the University of Alabama Panhellenic Association where she guided and counseled potential new members during the largest sorority recruitment in the nation. She is a weekly mentor with Al's Pals, a mentoring program for at-risk youth in Tuscaloosa, AL, a volunteer with the West Alabama Food Bank, and involved in Campus Outreach. Yeakley is a 2019 graduate of James Wood High School. She was a four year varsity Soccer letter recipient, three year varsity Volleyball letter recipient, where she also served as a captain her senior year, and named First Team All-Area Libero during her junior and senior years. Additionally, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Varsity Club, and Key Club. Yeakley also served as an Apple Pie Ridge Elementary mentor.
Margaret Smith is the daughter of Katherine and Randall Smith of Henrico, VA. She is the granddaughter of Sandra and Frank Armstrong of Winchester, Patricia Smith of Richmond, VA, and the late Steve Smith. Margaret attends John Tyler Community College majoring in early childhood education. Margaret is a 2017 graduate of Douglas Southall Freeman High School.
She was a three year varsity Swim letter recipient, member of the National Beta Club, and a seven year member of The Village Dance Studio Performing Company. Margaret has worked in childcare full-time for the past 4 years and enjoys photography as a hobby. Margaret's mother, Katherine Armstrong Smith, was a Little Maid in the court of Queen Shenandoah XLIV, Miss Juliana Shepard and a Maid of Honor to Queen Shenandoah LVI, Miss Dana Lee Connors. Her maternal grandparents, Sandra and Frank Armstrong, were Festival Presidents from 1981 to 1982 and 1968 to 1969, respectively.
Sarah Smith is the daughter of Katherine and Randall Smith of Henrico. She is the granddaughter of Sandra and Frank Armstrong of Winchester, Patricia Smith of Richmond, and the late Steve Smith. Sarah is a junior at the University of Virginia majoring in kinesiology with a Spanish minor. She is a member of the Virginia Alpine Ski and Snowboard Team. Sarah graduated from Glen Allen High School in 2019. She was a four year varsity Gymnastics letter recipient and a two year varsity Tennis letter recipient. Additionally, she was a member of the National Honor Society, Art Honor Society, Math Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. Sarah's mother, Katherine Armstrong Smith, was a Little Maid in the court of Queen Shenandoah XLIV, Miss Juliana Shepard and a Maid of Honor to Queen Shenandoah LVI, Miss Dana Lee Connors. Her maternal grandparents, Sandra and Frank Armstrong, were Festival Presidents from 1981 to 1982 and 1968 to 1969, respectively.
The Maids will participate in the Coronation Ceremony of Queen Shenandoah XCV at John Handley High School and will ride on the Queen's float in the Grand Feature Parade.
The selection of Princesses to serve in the Court of Queen Shenandoah XCIII for the 2020 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® has been announced by festival officials. The princesses include Catherine Cather Burton, Sarah Lucille Dalton, Sarah Elson, Catherine Grace Keim, and Lauren Ashleigh Taylor.
Catherine Burton is the daughter of Cynthia and Jim Burton of Winchester, VA. She is the granddaughter of Patricia and Irvine Cather Jr. of Winchester, Lina and James Burton Sr of Aldie, VA, and the late Nancy Burton. She is a freshman at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University majoring in political science. Catherine is a 2019 graduate of John Handley High School. She was the co-captain of the JHHS golf team, senior class secretary, and a Handley Scholar. She was a member of the National Honor Society and was selected to the Homecoming Court. Catherine’s mother served as a Maid of Honor in the court of Queen Shenandoah LXI, Mary Clancy Collins.
Sarah Dalton is the daughter of Julie and Keith Dalton of Bluemont, VA. She is the granddaughter of Elizabeth and William Minor of Winchester, James “Wayne” Dalton of Middletown, VA, and the late Julia Dalton. She is a first year student at the University of Virginia majoring in nursing. She is a member of Green Ground, Student Nurse Association of Virginia (SNAV), Madison House, and Synapse. Sarah is a 2019 graduate of Clarke County High School. She was a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). She was a member of the track team, the debate team, and participated in Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) throughout high school, serving as Vice-President her junior and senior years. Sarah is currently a CNA at the Winchester Medical Center.
Sarah Elson is the daughter of Joanna and Robert Elson of Winchester. She is the granddaughter of Betty Jo and Myron Dickerson of Winchester and the late Hildegarde Gieseler and Berton Elson. She is a sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in mass communications with a concentration in digital journalism. She is a contributing writer for “The Commonwealth Times” and “Hercampus” at VCU. Her article in “The Commonwealth Times” won the Associated College Press (ACP) best of show award. Sarah is a 2018 graduate of John Handley High School. She was a miscellanea editor, yearbook co-editor, and published an article in the Winchester Star about prom fashion in 2018. Sarah’s mother served as a Princess in the Court of Queen Shenandoah LVI, Dana Lee Connors.
Catherine Keim is the daughter of Pamela and Douglas Keim of Winchester. She is the granddaughter Darlene Kauffman of Brogue, PA, Dorothy and Melvin Keim of Harrisonburg, VA, and the late Jason Kauffman. She is a freshman at Princeton University majoring in molecular biology. She is a member of the Princeton University Glee Club, chapel choir, and club swim team. Catherine is a 2019 graduate of John Handley High School where she was the marching band drum major and a captain of the debate team. She received a varsity swim letter and served as president of Key Club. Catherine was a National AP Scholar, danced for Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet for thirteen years and is member of First Presbyterian Church.
Lauren Taylor is the daughter of LaDonna and Lowell Taylor Jr. of Winchester. She is the granddaughter of Linda and Stephen Butler of Winchester and Eunice and Lowell Taylor Sr. of Keyser, WV. She is a freshman at West Virginia University majoring in criminology and psychology. Lauren is a 2019 graduate of James Wood High School. She was a four-year varsity cheer letter recipient, two-time all-district, two-time all-region, and 2018 All State Cheerleader. She was a member of the National Honor Society and Serving Learning.
The Princesses will accompany Queen Shenandoah XCIII and her Court to all Festival functions throughout the 93rd Festival scheduled for April 24 to May 3, 2020. They will participate in the Coronation Ceremony to be held on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. at John Handley High School. They will ride in the Royal Float in the Grand Feature Parade scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 2, 2020.
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.