Sharen Gromling, President of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is pleased to announce Elizabeth Lynch as the featured speaker for the Ladies Horticultural Luncheon presented by Spring Arbor Assisted Living.
Elizabeth Lynch made history when she became the second Miss West Virginia to make the Top Five at the Miss America Competition. The Martinsburg native finished as 3rd runner up to Miss America 2023 Grace Stanke from Wisconsin. A summa cum laude graduate of Delaware State University and a recent graduate of West Virginia University with a Master of Science in Food and Nutritional Science, Lynch will enter a Ph.D. program next fall, putting her $42,500 in scholarship earnings to good use.
A first-generation agriculturalist, Elizabeth is dedicating her year of service to agricultural industry promotion through her social impact “Growing Up, Growing Ag: Advocating for Agriculture”. She stated, "Agriculture is the backbone of our great nation. As Miss West Virginia, I will continue sharing the importance of agriculture and encourage everyone to thank a farmer.” Elizabeth’s message is two-fold: She wants everyone to understand where our food comes from and how it reaches our dining tables. Secondly, she wants to introduce young adults to the possibility of a career in the agricultural industry.
While at Delaware State University, Elizabeth was a D1 equestrian athlete, Presidential Scholar, and a Chi Alpha Sigma National Athletic Honors Society member. She is the recipient of the Evelyn Talbott Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service and the “Circle of Hearts” Miana Steward Memorial Award for her contribution to Horses with Hearts.
During graduate school, Elizabeth worked closely with Poultry Specialists to facilitate and conduct research and with the WVU Pilot Feed Mill for feed manufacturing. Most recently she taught agriculture extension workshops across the state as a WVU graduate research assistant.
Turning to social media, her weekly “Farmer Friday” broadcast features interviews with leaders in agriculture, farming, distribution and more. Every Friday guests tell their stories and often share important news as it happens in the industry. With more than 30 episodes and 3000 listeners on YouTube, “Farmer Friday” gives a voice to those in the industry while educating the public.
The Ladies Horticultural Luncheon will be held at Millwood Station Banquet Hall, 252 Costello Drive, on Friday, May 5, from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 540-662-3409.
Eric Dickerson, Pro football Hall of Fame and record-breaking running back has been named Co-Sports Marshal by Sharen Gromling, president of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®
Dickerson was selected second overall in the 1983 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. An immediate success, he established rookie records for most rushing attempts (390), most rushing yards gained (1,808) and most touchdowns rushing (18), including another two receiving touchdowns. His efforts earned him All-Pro, Pro Bowl, Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors.
In his second season, Dickerson continued his onslaught on the NFL record book becoming a member of the 2000 rushing yards club. Twelve times in 1984 he gained more than 100 yards rushing, breaking the record of 100-yard games in a season held by O.J. Simpson. His 2,105 total yards rushing beat Simpson’s 1973 NFL season record of 2,003 yards. No one has since rushed for more yards in a single NFL season. Dickerson retired from the NFL as the 2nd leading rusher of all-time and in 1999 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dickerson was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. He is widely considered as one of the greatest running backs of all time.
Russ Potts, a Winchester sports enthusiast, while athletic director at SMU from 1978-1982, developed a friendship with Dickerson (SMU 1979-1982) that lasted through the years. Dickerson and Craig James, currently New England Patriots ESPN analyst, were running backs. SMU went 11-0 in the 1982 season. The duo of Dickerson and James became known as "The Pony Express", coined by Potts, referencing the SMU mascot, the Mustangs. Dickerson was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2021 for SMU.
Marcus Allen shared his positive 2015 Apple Blossom experience as Sport Marshal with Dickerson. Dickerson and his wife, Penny Sutton, graciously in turn, accepted the Festival invitation and will attend festival events on Friday, May 5, including the Coronation, presented by Morgan Orthodontics, and the Hang 10 Car Wash Firefighters’ Parade. He will be a featured speaker on Saturday, May 6, at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast at the Tolley Zone in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Event Center on the campus of Shenandoah University. They will then ride in the Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Dickerson's appearance is sponsored by Omps Funeral Home and Cremation Center.
Tickets to Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl LVII Champion and Millbrook High School standout athlete, Nazeeh Johnson named Co-Sports Marshal
His hometown community has called the play, and Nazeeh Johnson, local gridiron hero and 2023 Super Bowl Champion with the Kansas City Chiefs, has been named Co-Sports Marshal by Sharen Gromling, president of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®
Nazeeh Johnson triumphed as a 2023 Super Bowl Champion with the Kansas City Chiefs this past February. He achieved a goal of his youth! When he was five years old, after playing a few games of little league football, he went to his parents saying, “Dad, Mom! I’m going to play in the NFL!” His parents told him, as any parent would do, “Okay, son, just know that you can definitely do it, but it won’t be easy.” Since that moment, Nazeeh has worked his way to the top. Johnson has said, “I believe in living in the now and taking advantage of all my opportunities.” His parents are Kisha and Brian Brown of Winchester.
The rookie safety entered his first season with the Chiefs in 2022, being drafted in the 7th round (Pick #259). Johnson was waived on August 30, and the next day he was signed to the practice squad. On September 28, his name became part of the active roster. His running speed is described as explosive or like a rocket. In his first season, Johnson led the Chiefs in Special Teams tackles and played a crucial part in the longest punt return in NFL Super Bowl history, as the Chiefs went on to win Super Bowl LVII.
Johnson’s football career began with youth tackle football, participating in leagues across Northern Virginia and locally in the Shenandoah Valley including Fairfax, Prince William, and Clarke County. The family ultimately made the Frederick County community their home.
While playing youth football in Clarke County, Johnson was called “Z Bolt”, which eventually became “Bolt” or “Z”. While at James Wood Middle School and Millbrook High School, he ran track to develop more speed and played basketball to enhance his agility. Millbrook High School Pioneers was the next step to reaching his ultimate goal. Johnson graduated from Millbrook High School in 2016.
Johnson was unranked coming out of high school but enrolled as a “preferred walked-on” with the Marshall Thundering Herd. In 2018 he earned his scholarship with Marshall. He started four seasons in 44 of 45 games. His had 302 tackles, six tackles with loss, one sack, seven interceptions, a defensive touchdown, and defended19 passes. His Herd Pro Day was incredibly productive and meaningful, running a 4.35-second 40-yard dash and jumping an impressive 42.5 inches. Johnson was named All-Conference USA for three seasons, and he received the Unsung Hero Award in his final year. This honor is awarded to Herd players who make significant contributions to team success and are least recognized.
Nazeeh Johnson is described as humble and quiet. He prefers spending time with his family and loved ones. Family, football, video games, and community: these are what Nazeeh hold near and dear to his heart. And he is near to the hearts of those in his community. Winchester and fans across the region were focused on #13 and cheered him all the way to his final play on that Super Bowl Sunday 2023.
Nazeeh and his wife, Kensley, will be attending festival events on Friday, May 5, including the Coronation, presented by Morgan Orthodontics, and the Hang 10 Car Wash Firefighters’ Parade. He will be a featured speaker on Saturday, May 6 at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast at the Tolley Zone in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Convention Center on Shenandoah University Campus. They will then ride in the Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade, which begins at 1:30 p.m. Johnson’s appearance is sponsored by Omps Funeral Home and Cremation Center.
Tickets to Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® – The Astins Return. Bella Astin to reign as Queen Shenandoah XCVI
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President Sharen Gromling is pleased to announce that Isabella Louise Astin has accepted the role of Queen Designate XCVI for the 2023 Festival. Known to family and friends as “Bella, the third daughter of Sean and Christine Astin who resides with her family in California will be returning to Winchester.
This year’s theme: LIVE. LOVE. BLOOM reflects the love of the Bloom community as it nears 100 years of celebrating. How very appropriate it is that the Festival continues to make connections with those the community learned to love over the years and celebrities who loved the Festival back. As the area gets ready to welcome Bella Astin as its new queen, take a look back at the “Astin years.”
In 2004 Sean Astin was the Festival’s Grand Marshal. It was a coup for the Festival as Astin had just finished the three Lord of the Rings films and was known, additionally, for his roles in Goonies and Rudy. As a family man whose daughter, Bella, was not born until July of the following year, he and the Festival began a relationship. The relationship has lasted nearly 20 years. Ten years later, 2014, the Astins returned to Winchester for Alexandra Louise Astin, Ali, to become Queen. Her sister, Elizabeth, followed four years later as Queen in 2018.
This year as Isabella Louise Astin will become the third Astin daughter to be Queen, her father, Sean, winner of multiple acting awards, her mother, Christine, who is an Academy Award nominated producer, and her two sisters will watch as Bella takes the stage on May 5 to be crowned.
Bella is a senior at Oaks Christian High School. Her interests include, as well as her usual studies, acting, photography, and film. She is a FemStem student which raises women’s voices in science, technology, engineering and math. She volunteers at the local animal shelter and often photographs the puppies looking for their “forever homes.”
Bella is an activist for animal rights and for the environment. Bella interned with the Felidae Conservation Fund to help wildcats in the California landscape. Her inspirations are Jane Goodall and Steve Irwin and Bella hopes to produce documentaries of animals in need around the world. Bella envisions herself behind the camera focused on animals.
Queen-designate Bella will attend the Village at Orchard Ridge Queen’s Dinner held in her honor at 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 4. She will appear at various Festival events on Friday, May 5, prior to her crowning at the all-new production of the traditional majestic Coronation, presented by Morgan Orthodontics, showcasing the talent of the youth in her court. She will ride in the Hang 10 Car Wash Firefighters’ Parade on Friday and then dance evening away at the Realty ONE Group Old Towne Queen’s Ball, presented by Insurance Center of Winchester held in her honor. Queen Bella will reign over the Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade on Saturday as she sits on her throne atop the Queen’s float accompanied by her maids of honor, little maids and pages.
The Astins are eager to return to Winchester to Live. Love. Bloom once more.
For the full Festival schedule, go to www.thebloom.com for all the events, times, tickets, and other festival information.
Kellye Cash named as inspirational speaker for Festival’s Prayer Brunch presented by Knouse Foods
Sharen Gromling, President of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is pleased to announce 1987 Miss America, Kellye Cash as the keynote speaker for the Prayer Brunch presented by Knouse Foods/Musselman's.
As the first child of retired Navy Captain and Mrs. Roy Cash, Jr., Kellye learned at an early age of her need for Christ. Her father's career as a U.S. Navy fighter pilot took them all over the country and even overseas. It was during the Vietnam Conflict that Kellye realized that even when Dad came home, there would still be an emptiness in her life and that emptiness could only be filled with Jesus Christ. At a small revival in Escondido, CA, Kellye asked Christ to come into her life, and often says this: She found a Father who never went to sea, a Friend who loved her just the way that she was with all her the quirkiness that comes from being a musician, and she found Forgiveness no matter what she did or was going to do.
Following her year as Miss America 1987 which included performances with her great-uncle Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, and Lee Greenwood, Kellye returned to the University of Memphis to continue her studies and launch her career as a performer and speaker. Kellye continued her community service platform and substance-abuse awareness by becoming the first spokesperson for the Governor’s Alliance for a Drug-free Tennessee, which became the official Miss Tennessee platform.
She works in the Bethel University Music Department as music director, a piano/voice teacher, a concert artist, and as a musical director for community theatre productions.
Recently Kellye played Patsy Cline, a role she’s become known for, in her 13th production and/or tour of ALWAYS...PATSY CLINE.
The Festival Prayer Brunch presented by Knouse Foods will be held at Fellowship Bible Church, 3217 Middle Road, Friday, May 5, 2023, from 11 am to 1 pm. Tickets at $40 are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
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.
Tony Dorsett, Father of Queen Shenandoah XCV Sports Guest & Speaker at Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast
Tommy Price, president of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® announces with pleasure that Tony Dorsett will be returning to the Festival for his third visit, this time as Father of Queen Shenandoah XCV, Mia Dorsett. Additionally, Dorsett will be a guest speaker at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast. Tony was first a sports guest in 1985 as the outstanding, leading rusher for the Dallas Cowboy. During our 85th Festival in 2012, he proudly crowned his daughter, Jazmyn, “Jazz”, as Queen Shenandoah LXXXV.
Anthony “Tony” Dorsett was born to Wes and Myrtle Dorsett on April 7, 1954, in Rochester, Pennsylvania. When his parents moved to be near the Jones and Laughlin Steel Mill in Aliquippa when Tony was young, they hoped at least one of their seven children would reach beyond the town's limits. Tony was the one who did. He had visions that went beyond the steel gray hue of the Western Pennsylvania projects that he called home.
While Tony was still attending Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, his coach made a wise decision to switch him from linebacker to running back. Dorsett gained 1,034 yards as a junior in high school, and his record of excellence continued unabated when he moved on to college at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dorsett's record with the Panthers was legendary. He was named to an All-America team as a freshman and again as a junior and senior. Playing under Coach Johnny Majors, Dorsett became the first college back to rush for 1,000 or more yards all four seasons and the first to gain more than 1,500 yards for three years. As a Senior, he had his best season rushing for 1,948 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He crowned a brilliant collegiate career by being named All-American four times and winning the coveted Heisman Trophy in 1976. He is considered one of the greatest running backs in college football history.
In the 1977 draft, the Dallas Cowboys were quick to select Tony in the first round. He won consensus rookie of the year honors in helping Dallas win Super Bowl XII. Tony is one of the top ten all-time leading rushers in the NFL. In 1982, Tony captured his first NFC rushing title and established an unbreakable NFL record by racing 99 yards from scrimmage for a touchdown.
Tony served as team captain in '81, '82 and '84. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in '78, '81, '82 and '83. In 1981 he earned consensus All-Pro honors and was named NFC Player of the Year by UPI. In a 1979 Gallup Youth Survey of American teenagers' favorite sports personalities, Tony finished second to Roger Staubach.
1994 was a banner year for Tony. He was inducted into the prestigious Dallas Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tony lives with wife Janet in the Dallas area and has three beautiful daughters and a son, Anthony, who also played in the NFL. Tony is involved in many community activities and charities in Dallas, including ALS, March of Dimes, Minnie’s Food Pantry and the Tony Evans Ministry. Tony also supports the McGuire Memorial Foundation in Pittsburgh, a facility for handicapped children and Minnie’s Food Pantry.
The Coronation of Queen Shenandoah presented by Morgan Orthodontics will be held at Handley High School on Friday, April 29, at 1:30 p.m. The Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast will be on Saturday, April 30, at 8 a.m. at the Tolley Dental Zone inside the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Events Center located on the campus of Shenandoah University.
Tickets for Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
Four Time NCAA All American
First Player in NCAA History with 4 - 1,000 Yard Seasons and 3 - 1,500 Yard Seasons
1976 Heisman Trophy
NFL Rookie of the Year 1977
NFL All Pro
Four Time Pro Bowl Player
12 Year Career Only Missed Six Games
2nd All-Time Leading Rusher in post season play - 1,383 yards
2nd All-Time NFL Rusher at time of retirement
Hold NFL record for longest run from the line of scrimmage 99 yards in ‘83 against Minnesota
Two NFL Super Bowls XII-1978; XIII-1979
5 NFC Championship Games
Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor 1994
College Football Hall of Fame 1994
NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame 1994 first year of eligibility
Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Denver
American Heart Association
United Negro College Fund
Make a WISH Foundation
McGuire Memorial Home
Minnie’s Food Pantry
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 email@example.com.
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®, 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.