Apple Blossom Festival plans an ‘Unforgettable’ year

WINCHESTER – The 89th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival will center on a simple one-word theme in 2016 with “Unforgettable!”

Festival president Jim Douglas announced the theme and unveiled the theme images to the iconic Nat King Cole song at the end of a release party Wednesday evening. He recalled some funny moments from recent years and reminded those in attendance of some memorable landmark moments hearkening back to festivals past with guests like Lucille Ball.

“Those images are not just iconic, they’re timeless, and it’s those images that really attest to the grandeur and the greatness of our festival,” he said.

Festival Executive Director John Rosenberger said that the theme committee has decided on other one-word festival themes in previous years to add an occasional touch of elegance. After the upbeat focus of last year’s “Get Your Bloom On!” theme, he said they wanted to return to the simplicity found in the 2011 festival’s “Timeless…” theme.

“We try to go from category to category. We thought, we’d kind of hit artistic and we’d hit whimsical and we’d hit romantic,” he said. “We kind of thought with the 100th anniversary coming up, ‘why don’t we try about every five years to pick a single word that is so descriptive of the festival?'”

Although the word evokes thoughts of the Nat King Cole classic, Rosenberger said that wasn’t the theme committee’s primary goal.

“It was kind of an accident … I thought of the word, but you can’t even think of the word without thinking of the song,” he said. “Sometimes it’s absolutely on purpose like ‘Celebrate!’ and ‘Do You Believe in Magic?'”

Douglas said that “Unforgettable!” will be echoed throughout the festival programming.

“Every one of the folks that want to put a float in the parade will be sent a blurb about the theme and be encouraged to incorporate that into their design,” he said. “Every aspect of the festival, we’ll try to weave this into it.”

Erik Zimmerman, of White Spider Incorporated, designed the logo and cover using a collage of photos from festivals five years past. He said he chose classic and memorable festival moments to lend to the theme. In the background, he added some extra energy with fireworks photos and featured “Unforgettable!” in a jumbled and colorful choice of font.

The 89th festival will occur from April 22 to May 1 next year. Learn more about the festival and the Volunteer Fair this Saturday at http://thebloom.com/.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com