Apple Blossom Past” explores the history of the Apple Blossom Festival from 1919 to 2019. The series runs daily through May 5.
♦ The Apple Blossom Festival originated in 1919 as "Blossom Day." The one-day event celebrated the importance of the apple industry to the region. Mrs. Ernest Wagner, wife of the district's first apple shipper and a native of New Zealand, came up with the idea. She enjoyed the festivals of her childhood so much that she suggested beginning a similar festival in the Wenatchee Valley.
♦ Early in the year, members of the Ladies Musical Club followed through with Mrs. Ernest Wagner's idea of a day set aside in honor of "blooming time" in the Wenatchee district. The suggestion met with unanimous approval and members of the Wenatchee Commercial Club helped sponsor the event.
♦ Blossom Day was held Friday, May 7. It was referred to as "the first celebration" of what was planned to be an annual event.
♦ Fern Prowell was queen. Elizabeth Humphreys and Beth Boblet were her attendants.
♦ Committee members were H.N. May, chairman, Mrs. Ernest Wagner, Mrs. W.P. Cameron, Mrs. E.L. Mann, Mrs. C.F. Keiser, Ira D. Edwards, Earl L. Bernier, George Ames, Arthur J. Lavell and Vaughn H. Clearman.
♦ Members of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Spokane Chamber of Commerce attended the celebration.
♦ Out-of-town visitors toured the business district and then assembled in Memorial Park where waiting automobiles took them on a two-hour "parade" through local apple orchards. L.G. Olds was the marshal.
♦ Aviator Harry Scouton "bombed" the parade with apple blossoms as he flew over the area. He then took passengers on flights over the valley.
♦ The parade ended in Cashmere where a luncheon was served at the Grange Hall. The group returned to Wenatchee to attend a baseball game at Recreation Park.
♦ An evening banquet at the Commercial Club was held. Will Little was chairman with Mrs. C.F. Keiser in charge of serving the meal. Entertainment included musical selections by Dorothy Wyman and Fawn Boehmer. John A. Gellatly, North Central Washington's candidate for governor, offered a welcoming address followed by a speech from W.T. Clark. The event concluded with everyone "marching" to the park for another musical program, led by Wellington Pegg.
♦ The day concluded with a dance on Wenatchee Avenue between First and Douglas streets, sponsored by the American Legion. Music was furnished by the Navy band from the USS New York.
♦ The second annual Blossom Day was held May 3. The date was selected by P.S. Darlington, district inspector of agriculture, in anticipation of the apple blossoms reaching the proper stage of development.
♦ The Wenatchee Commercial Club was in charge of the event and covered all costs.
♦ Automobiles took visitors on a two-hour trip through the valley to view the blossoms.
♦ A noon luncheon was served by the Wenatchee Commercial Club.
♦ The afternoon parade started at the corner of Mission and Kittitas streets. There were 125 entries forming a procession of more than a mile in length. First prize was awarded to the Wenatchee Southern Railroad train. Second prize went to Wenatchee Produce Company's float representing the "Steamship Wenatchee," piloted by Mary Rose and Conrad Rose Jr.
♦ Local Boy Scouts helping during the parade included Ned Ludington, Alonzo Greif, Keith Fisk, Douglas McClelland, Clarence Peterson, Emerson Bardin, Jack Mooberry, Elmer Bradley and Guy Holcomb.
♦ Queen Florence Kratzer was crowned during a program in Memorial Park. Princesses from various schools attending the blossom queen were Elizabeth Humphreys, Monitor; Frances Faris, East Wenatchee; Marjorie Munch, Whitman; Ruth Williams, Lewis and Clark; Virginia Bird, Lincoln; Beth Boblet, Stevens; Marcu Flanigan, Linwood; and Virginia Leedy, Sunnyslope.
♦ Honorable R.A. Ballinger, former mayor of Seattle and former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, was the guest speaker during an evening event in Memorial Park. Musical entertainment included vocal solos by Mildred Dengel and a chorus of songs from the Ladies Musical Club.
♦ A street dance was held on Wenatchee Avenue with music provided by the Elks Band.
♦ Among those involved in planning Blossom Day were L.G. Olds, chairman, V.H. Clearman, Mrs. E.L. Mann, Mrs. Ernest Wagner, Mrs. B.J. Williams, Mrs. J.A. Scaman, H.N. May, R.B. Hadley, G.H. Whiteman, Jack Lillis and Jay F. Buttles.
♦ School involvement was under the leadership of Superintendent G.M. Warren.