For Bure, a reign to Blossom

Candace Cameron Bure gives her daughter Queen Shenandoah LXXXVIII, Natasha Bure, a kiss after crowning her Apple Blossom Queen during coronation festivities Friday afternoon at Handley High School. Rich Cooley/Daily
Queen Shenandoah LXXXVIII Natasha Bure and her escort Lt. Colonel Ronald G. McManus, Jr. walk off the stage concluding the coronation festivities Friday afternoon at Handley High School. Rich Cooley/Daily
The Handley Singers give their Royal Command Performance during coronation festivities Friday afternoon at Handley High School. Rich Cooley/Daily
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Queen Natasha Bure speaks during an interview before the Firemen's Parade on Friday. Rich Cooley/Daily

WINCHESTER – Queen Shenandoah LXXXVIII Natasha Bure received her crown in front of nearly a full house Friday.

Candace Cameron Bure, who played D.J. Tanner in the long-running TV show “Full House,” crowned her daughter Natasha at the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival coronation ceremony in John Handley High School’s Patsy Cline Theatre. Natasha’s father is former professional hockey player Valeri Bure.

The audience attire created a sea of pink and green and ceremony officials recited familiar words as part of the traditional coronation program.

Coronation Chancellor James B. Douglas greeted the audience, declared that the festival had begun and made the audience “subjects of this apple blossom realm.”

“Let us enjoy together the beauty, pageantry and merry-making of this festival — 88th festival of blossoms — as we welcome another springtime to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley,” Douglas, the president of the festival organization, read from a statement.

Sandra J. Adams, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, spoke as the minister of state for the ceremony.

“She comes in honor and grace, seeking to be set apart, to wear the crown as a symbol of her office,” Adams said.

Blossom Messenger Katie Pimblett presented apple blossoms to Bure.

“Consider well the blossoms’ fragile beauty of pink and white,” Pimblett said. “Within them lie the promise of the bounteous harvest your kingdom will know …

“May all the moments of your reign be as lovely as the blossoms,” Pimblett added. “May be the harvest and friendships without end.”

Bure performed the role of Minister of the Crown.

“The people seek you as their queen,” Bure said. “Are you ready to assume this office?”

“Yes, I am ready,” Natasha replied.

Bure then asked a series of questions as part of taking the oath.

“Do you now, before all those gathered here, promise to be a good and gracious queen?” Bure asked. “Will you accept the laws of this kingdom and will truly discover the land?

“Will you honor the customs of the people and seek delight in all their ways?” Bure asked. “Will you discharge all the duties of the crown with diligence?”

“And will you, in all things, something that only comes from the Lord, display a good, kind and happy spirit?”

Natasha replied: “I will,” to each question. Bure then crowned her daughter. Adams then commented on the crown.

“This crown is the symbol of our joy in the beauty of harvest of our orchards,” Adams said before declaring Natasha the queen of the festival.

Various participants in the festival presented other icons — the scepter, the key, the apple and the pillow.

After the presentation of the royal insignia, Natasha prepared to knight Lee Greenwood, serving as the Firefighters’ Marshal in the festival. Greenwood is a country music artist known for the hit song “God Bless the USA.” Greenwood approached the queen as part of the song played.

“Lee Greenwood, I hereby bestow upon you the order of the blossoms,” Natasha said. “I dub you once. I dub you twice. I dub you a true knight minister in the name of our apple blossom kingdom.”

Greenwood accepted his knighthood.

“Your majesty: I’ve been to the Oscars, the Grammys, a shuttle launch … and I have never been knighted before,” Greenwood said.

Douglas made some remarks during the homage of the subjects before other festival guests and participants walked across the stage. Ron Saul, former Washington Redskin and original “Hog,” turned to the audience, raised his arms and shouted “Don’t shoot.”

The Handley Singers closed out the ceremony by performing songs from Disney movies — from Beauty and the Beast to Frozen.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or

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