Bloom festival season is underway

Lorenzo Ramirez, a laborer for Sur-Loc Flooring Systems in Kearneysville, West Virginia, uses a drill to nail down the flooring as crews assemble the grandstand area for the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival at Washington Street and Handley Boulevard in Winchester. The annual parades will take place Friday and Saturday. Rich Cooley/Daily

The 89th annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival will aim for an “Unforgettable!” year with a lineup of events that could keep festivalgoers going from dawn till dusk and then some.

Classic Bloom

The Kimberly’s Pumps and Pearls Ladies Party will be held from 7:30 to 10 p.m. today at the George Washington Hotel ballroom. Tickets are $100 and include full bar service and hors d’oeuvres.


Local musicians, dancers and talented individuals will give their most unforgettable performances at the Apple Blossom’s Got Talent finals starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $20 for screen viewing upstairs and $40 for live viewing downstairs.

Contestants in the Apple Pie Baking Contest will get cooking at 9 a.m. Thursday at Marker-Miller Orchards and Farm Market. While the event is limited to 20 participants, attending the event as a spectator is free.

Catch Firefighters’ Marshal Jeff Hammond when the Firefighters’ Parade steps off at 5:30 p.m. Friday down Handley Boulevard. General admission is $4 or $5 for the Queen’s Stand.

The Firefighters’ Reception and Awards Presentation for uniformed personnel and invited guests will recognize those who serve the community. The event will be held at the Millwood Station Event Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday.

Lighting up the night, the fireworks display will also bring some music, food and kid’s activities to the Handley High School campus. Entertainment will start at 8 p.m. and fireworks at 9:15 p.m. Friday.

With $8,300 in cash prizes, the Valley Health 10K will kick off from Handley High School at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Registration for runners of all walks is $35 and will be open from 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. Friday and 7 to 8:15 a.m. the morning of the race.

The Grand Feature Parade will begin its procession at 1:30 p.m. Saturday from Old Town Winchester, featuring Grand Marshal Wayne Brady. Tickets to see the parade cost $8 to $10.

Catch special guests

Mary McDuffie, Navy Federal Credit Union’s executive vice president of delivery channels and communications, will speak at the Valley Health Business at the Bloom luncheon at the Tolley Dental Tent at Winchester Medical Center. The networking meal will provide catering from Carrabba’s Italian Grill from 12 to 2 p.m. Wednesday. Individual tickets are $25.

Virginia “Gigi” Graham, daughter of evangelist Billy Graham and Ruth Graham and an award-winning author, will serve as the featured speaker for the Prayer Brunch. Soloist Scott Orndorff and hand bell ensemble The 6th Dimension will serenade attendees at the brunch, which will last from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday at Winchester Church of God. Tickets are $25.

Nursing educator and researcher Dr. Pam Webber will speak and sign copies of her book, “The Wiregrass,” at the Ladies’ Horticultural Luncheon. The luncheon will take place at the Lee-Jackson Best Western from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $25, with proceeds going toward Virginia Tech horticultural scholarships.

This year, “Iron Man” and Sports Marshal Cal Ripken Jr. will speak and sign autographs at the Sports Breakfast. Tickets to the event, which will start at 8 a.m. Saturday at Winchester Moose Lodge, are $25. Other sports guests at the breakfast will include Kevin Dresser and Larry Robinson.

Festivities fit for a Queen

Queen Shenandoah designate Ahna Cameron, daughter of actor Kirk Cameron, will make a number of appearances at the 89th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Having served as the festival’s 2004 Prayer Brunch speaker, Kirk Cameron will be in attendance this year to support his daughter.

Ahna will have paid visits to her Bloom subjects at both the breakfast walk and Young at Heart luncheon before the Queen’s Dinner. Tickets for the Thursday evening meal at the Lee-Jackson Best Western are $25, with cocktails served at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6.

Her coronation will bring Bloom pomp and pageantry to Handley High School at 1:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets to the Apple Blossom classic celebration are $15.

Ahna will make a grand entrance with her court at the Queen’s Ball at 8 p.m Friday at the George Washington Hotel. Featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music by Trademark, the ball will run to midnight for those with $50 tickets.

Other ladies in crowns who will be making appearances at various Bloom events include Miss Virginia Savannah Lane and Miss Apple Blossom Cameron Smith.

Get a taste of the Bloom

Those pre-registered for the Westminster-Canterbury Breakfast Walk will get a bright and early start at at 8 a.m. Thursday with a 2.5-mile walk followed by a hearty morning meal.

The Willows at Meadow Branch’s Young at Heart Luncheon will be at the Millwood Station Events Center this year from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday. Big band orchestra For Dancers Only will provide the music for listeners and dancers and tickets for the event are $20.

Shenandoah Ford will present the Stag Luncheon from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Winchester Cold Storage. Standard access tickets are $30 and VIP access tickets with a list of benefits are $65.

A complement to the Stag Luncheon, the Men’s Commonwealth Luncheon will provide libations and a meal for gentlemen in proper attire from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Piccadilly’s Public House. Tickets are $35.

Ladies attending the Bloomers’ Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Tolley Dental Tent will enjoy a performance by Souled Out while feasting on Panera and enjoying a selection of beverages. Tickets to the luncheon are $30.

A little song and dance

Bellbottoms and platforms will give some groove to the dance floor at the Thursday Night Live ’70s Dance, featuring disco hits performed by the Right On Band. The dance will start at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Tolley Dental Tent on the Winchester Medical Center campus, and tickets are $25.

The ’80s Dance Party will feature music from tribute band RUBIX KUBE at the Tolley Dental Tent after doors open at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $25.

Musicians and dancers come from far and wide for the Square Dance, held from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Charlotte DeHart Elementary School. Tickets are $10.

The RAM Truck Country Music Party will feature Parmalee and Sam Grow, with an open dance floor for those who feel up for it. The event will start at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Tolley Dental Tent, and tickets are $25.

Dailey & Vincent will be the headliners for the Shenandoah Ford Bluegrass Festival, with other performances by Lonesome Highway and Springfield Exit. Music and refreshments will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Tolley Dental Tent, and tickets $30 to $50.

Competitions and games galore

Golfers will tee up at Shenandoah Valley Golf Club to start the Pro-Am Golf Tournament at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The event will close with an awards ceremony and reception at 3 p.m.

Area schools will participate in the Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble competitions, both starting at 8 a.m. Friday at Shenandoah University. Spectator admission is free.

The Fire Truck Rodeo, including displays of hundreds of new and antique firefighting equipment, will start at 9 a.m. Friday at Millbrook High School. Admission is free.

The Kids Bloomin’ Mile kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday at the grandstands on Handley Boulevard. It is open to kids ages 6-14. Registration is $20, and will cut off at 3:45 p.m. the day of the race.

Carnival games, vendors, and various band performances will provide entertainment at the Old Town Midway from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is free.

Jim Barnett Park will be alight with activities, vendors, shows and concessions for Weekend in the Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. One-day tickets are $6 and a two-day pass is $8, while children younger than 5 will be admitted free.

For more detailed information, schedules and tickets, visit http://thebloom.com/events/.

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