Slideshow: 2012 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Jazmyn Marie "Jazz" Dorsett officially assumed the role of Queen Shenandoah LXXV on Friday to reign over this year's Bloom.
But even as the daughter of former professional football legend Tony Dorsett, the queen expressed surprise and humility.
"It feels pretty good," Jazmyn Dorsett said after the coronation ceremony held at John Handley High School. "You know being addressed as 'your majesty' isn't something I get every day. A little change of pace."
Dorsett spoke briefly with local newspaper reporters before her escort took her to the next scheduled appearance.
So far, Dorsett said she has particulary enjoyed visiting the apple pie baking contest. She also said she enjoyed the performances held in her honor at the coronation -- an event filled with long-standing traditions and appearances by celebrity guests and local officials.
The coronation ceremony began with the entry of the queen's court. This included the Color Guard, made up of cadets from Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, as well as festival President Tom Scully serving as chancellor. Members of the Shenandoah University Baseball team served as escorts for the princesses.
"Let us enjoy together the beauty, pageantry and merry-making of this special 85th festival of the blossoms as we walk among the springtime to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley," Scully said before declaring the audience the subjects of "the realm."
Rabbi Scott M. Sperling of Beth El Congregation in Winchester delivered the invocation as prelate of the coronation.
Dorsett, accompanied by her father during the ceremony, received the traditional sceptre, made from an apple tree, a key to the kingdom and apple blossoms. The queen also was presented with a golden apple. Dorsett accepted the items, each of which carried a symbolic meaning, and then took the oath as queen. The crowning followed shortly before 2 p.m.
In her first duty as Queen Shenandoah, Dorsett knighted Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR legend and this year's Firefighter's Parade marshal. Scully asked the queen to bestow knighthood to "Rusty House of Wallace."
Dorsett requested her sword, which features an apple on the tip, and then "knighted" Wallace, asking "Sir Rusty" to rise. Before sending Wallace on his way, Dorsett exclaimed "Gentleman, start your engines," and the crowd heard the sound of revving.
"That's the first time that's ever happened to me," Wallace told the audience. "I'm incredibly humbled to be a knight. It's something I've never thought would happen to me, that's for sure.
"When I go home to my wife and tell her I got knighted by a sword and didn't get cut she's gonna get excited," Wallace added.
The coronation ceremony concluded with performances by The Handley Singers, led by Gloria Law, Robyn Schroth and Peter Uhlir.