By Josette Keelor
The Shenandoah Valley Apple Blossom Festival office has announced that country singer Scotty McCreery will be this year's festival grand marshal.
McCreery, the 2011 "American Idol" winner, plans to ride in the Firefighter's Parade on May 3 and will be grand marshal of the Grand Feature Parade on May 4, festival representatives said Friday morning at a press conference at National Fruit Company Inc. in Winchester.
This is the second year that White House Foods has sponsored the grand marshal, company president David Gum said Friday.
"Every year we try to appeal to the different demographics," said festival celebrity co-chair Kay Bolliger. "We try to appeal to different interests, different people. We go across the board."
While on "American Idol," McCreery was best know for his baritone rendition of singer Josh Turner's "Your Man," which McCreery joked during the week of his "Idol" homecoming in Garner, N.C., that it was his "theme song."
His debut album "Clear As Day" topped the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country charts, earning him a spot in the Guinness World Records book for being the youngest male in history to score a No. 1 album on the all-genre chart with a debut release, according to information from a festival press release.
Only 17 years old when he competed for the title of American Idol, McCreery, now 19, is one of the youngest grand marshals the festival has had, said John Rosenberger, festival executive director.
Said Gum, "We're just glad that we were able to get Scotty here." McCreery was one of three final choices festival officials were considering, he said.
McCreery, who will visit Winchester as part of his Weekend Roadtrip Tour 2013, is expected to bring along several family members, including his mother, Bolliger.
"[It's] nice to have his family share with our family," she said.
The festival office also announced this week that the Walmart Bloomers' Luncheon on May 3 will include live music by local dance band Souled Out, food from the 2013 Official Food Sponsor Panera Bread and an open bar. The bar also will include cash options at The Bloomers' Vodka Bar. The luncheon will take place at the Sprint Tent on the parking lot of the Shenandoah University Pharmacy School on North Sector Court on the Winchester Medical Center campus. Tickets are arranged in lots of eight.
The men's Stag Luncheon has added members of the International Bikini Team to help at the bars and food will be buffet style from Chick-fil-A, Buffalo Wild Wings, Honey Baked Ham and Anthony's Pizza. A VIP Area with added amenities will include an earlier entry time at 11 a.m., unlimited food, private bars and private restrooms. Radio station 99.3 the Fox will provide music for the event -- the iHEART version of Fox streamed directly from the station feed.
Tickets are available at the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet at 107 Millwood Ave. For more information, call 771-1092.
The 2013 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival will take place from April 26 to May 5. For more information, visit www.thebloom.com.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org