There are at least eight different sports being featured this Apple Blossom Festival weekend, giving area residents and visitors a wide range of activities to take in. Some are more traditional, others, not so much.
Two on Saturday that will have the most exposure include the Apple Blossom Run that will take place just minutes before the Grand Parade. Organizers are expecting about 1,500 participants this year in four categories: a kid’s 1-mile run, a 5-kilometer walk and 5k- and 10k-runs. Later in the day, the Tour de Bloom will feature a leg of their two-day cycling event in downtown Wenatchee. From 2:30 until approximately 10 p.m., Mission Street and Wenatchee Avenue from 1st Avenue to Orondo Avenue will be a course featuring high-speed cycling. It’s all part of the 1st Annual Orondo Avenue Experience, which will include an entertainment stage, beer gardens, food, grandstands and racing.
Another popular event is at the Town Toyota Center, which is being transformed into a rodeo-like arena for the GS Long Bull Riding Blowout. This event runs Friday and Saturday nights beginning at 7:30.
Two of our area teams will be in action. The Wenatchee Valley Rams, in the running for yet another league championship, will meet Flathead at the Eastmont Junior High football field at 1 p.m. Saturday, while Sunday, Wenatchee United FC, a men’s soccer team from the newly formed Evergreen Premier League, will have its debut match against Bellingham at the Apple Bowl beginning at 4 p.m. This is designed to be a high caliber league, and the local squad will have representation from all over North Central Washington.
Elsewhere, the Wenatchee Gun Club is hosting a Washington State Trap Shooting event, The Apple Blossom Shoot, at Baker Flats Saturday and Sunday. About 75 competitors from ages 13 to 80 are expected.
If you want to check out some hoops, Walla Walla Point Park is the site of the Apple Blossom 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. Adult divisions play Saturday, with the kids taking over on Sunday.
The 10th Annual Corey McDougall Golf Tournament is 1 p.m. on Sunday at Highlander Golf Course, and a great family event is the Apple Blossom Radio Control Airplane Fun Fly, at the Wenatchee Red Apple Flyers Club Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. And although not an official sports event, the Classy Chassis Parade in East Wenatchee (6:30 p.m. Friday) and accompanying car show is a big hit for not only sports fans, but the general public as well.
I may be a bit prejudiced, but there’s no doubt the great sports ‘infrastructure’ at Apple Blossom really contributes a terrific foundation that helps make ours one of the great festivals anywhere.
Matt Kearny is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org.