2016

❀ The 97th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 28-May 8.

Kori Martin was queen. Sami Everhart and Emily Holmes were princesses. The other Top 10 finalists were Kyla Mataya, Megan Sand, Zoie Ziesmer, Zoie Patch, Maggie Walker, Veronica Wright and Stephani Hobson.

❀ Junior royalty queen was Macy Fowler. Princesses were Olivia Harle and Miranda Nayak.

❀ Director general was Debbie Gurnard. Applarian chancellor was Steve Soth.

Garry and Patti Sparks received the Lehman Johnson Award for their service to the festival.

❀ Tour de Bloom unveiled a new look when it was held during the festival. The longtime Wenatchee Valley Velo Club cycling event added a Stage Race to its lineup. The first stage was in Leavenworth on May 6, with the start and finish in the Bavarian Village and pro riders heading up and down a closed-off lane on Highway 2 in Tumwater Canyon. The other stages took place May 7 and 8 on Mission Ridge Road, downtown Wenatchee streets and Waterville Plateau roads.

Kaytie Crandell-Christenson provided the festival art print.

❀ The ninth-annual Wenatchee Valley Renaissance Faire, an official festival event, was held at Wenatchee Valley College. It was put on by WVC and The Black Knight Society.

❀ Music Theatre of Wenatchee presented “Mary Poppins” as its festival musical. Cast members included Stephanie Wilson, Jeff Heminger, Paul Atwood, Amy Edwards, Maggie Stevens and Isaac Colyar.

David Smeltzer, chief financial officer of Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers, was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year.

❀ Lewis & Clark Elementary student Danielle Peterson took Best of Show in the Art 4 Kidz competition.

❀ Students from Lincoln Elementary School dressed up in construction gear for the youth parade, because their school was under construction.

Mark L. Donald, a former U.S. Navy SEAL and frontline medical provider, was grand marshal. Donald was the Navy’s most-decorated physician’s assistant and author of “Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic.”

2017

❀ The 98th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 27-May 7.

❀ Queen was Amy Sand. Princesses were Paige Chvilicek and Alissa Riker. The other Top 10 finalists were Madelynn Albert, Julizia Cervantes, Halston Harn, Emily Prieto, Emily Thompson, Judith Torres and Lily Waterhouse.

❀ Junior royalty queen was Annika Erho. Princesses were Natalie Severson and Carys Williams.

Mark Lewis was director general. Applarian chancellor was Steve Lacy.

❀ The Lehman Johnson Award was presented to Sally Feil, Pat Lynn and Char Allen for their long-standing commitment to the festival.

Leo Garcia was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year. Garcia helped start Wenatchee Valley College’s Hispanic Orchard Employee Education Program in the early 1990s.

❀ The festival art print artist was Paula Christen.

❀ Grace City Church hosted a “Party in the Park,” the festival’s first-ever opening ceremony event in Memorial Park. Darci Christoferson, festival administrator, cut a red ribbon signaling the festival’s grand opening with Grace City Church Pastor Josh McPherson. The festivities were packed with games, prizes and giveaways.

❀ “Young Frankenstein” was the featured festival musical by Music Theatre of Wenatchee. Cast members included Dave Williams, Vern Smith, Paul Atwood, Eloise Sheets, Louise Simons, Kelly Atwood and Skylar Cuthill.

❀ The Funtastic Traveling Shows carnival was moved to a new location this year, the parking lot at the Town Toyota Center.

❀ The festival’s first funnel cake eating contest was held. The event was sponsored by Cakes for College, a locally-operated funnel cake vendor that “funneled” profits towards scholarships to Wenatchee Valley College.

❀ A 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge owned by Jay Nell of East Wenatchee received the Mayor’s Choice Award at the Classy Chassis parade and car show.

❀ Former Mills Bros. owners Sam and Vickie Mills were grand marshals. The Mills family operated the clothing store for 110 years before Sam and Vickie retired in late 2016. The Manson Apple Blossom Festival float took home the Royalty Choice Award.