1998

 The 79th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 23-May 3.

 For the first time, the Top 10 candidates for festival royalty were picked not only by students from their schools but by a panel of five out-of-town judges.

 Krista Berschauer was queen. Princesses were Maria Gonzalez and Alea Pappe. The other Top 10 finalists were Julie Mullen, Melissa Murray, Melinda Shurtz, Kristen Waldren, Natalie Marquess, Anne Marie Hessberg and Cathy Smits.

 Junior royalty were Bethany Taylor, queen, and Andee Volkmann and Nicole Asplund, princesses.

 Peter Nolen was director general. Jim Webb was the Applarian chancellor.

 A painting of a parade by Jane Reynolds was selected as the official festival print.

 The Lehman Johnson Award went to Deloma Sherwood for her long-standing service to the festival royalty.

 Stemilt Growers founder Tom Mathison was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year.

 Music Theatre of Wenatchee presented “Grease” as its festival musical at the new Riverside Playhouse. Cast members included Shawna Greene, Scott Norton, Jennifer Williams, Eric Wulf, Colleen Bowen, Stevie Porter, Terra Schaller, Tony Zinman, Melissa Carlson, Carol Bowen and Bryan Kosters.

 Connie Thompson, anchorwoman and reporter for KOMO-TV, and Steve Pool, the station's weeknight weathercaster, both took part in the festival. Thompson was also the guest speaker at the all-service club luncheon.

 Bill Bumps and his 1924 Jewett ran off with the Royalty Award in the Classy Chassis parade.

 One of the more popular youth parade entrants was the Spirit of Festival Award winner, “Our Family Circus,” created by the Boggs, Daweritz and Matthews families of Wenatchee.

 Vicki Lawrence, Emmy-award winning actress who starred on "The Carol Burnett Show" and later her own series "Mama's Family," was the grand parade marshal. The blue Seattle Seafair float with its dancing porpoises, coral formations and two sailing dinghies — the “Apple” and the “Blossom” — won the grand parade commercial sweepstakes. 

 Lawrence also hosted the Search for Granny Smith finale ceremony. Joan Phillips from Plano, Texas, was the winner.

1999

 The 80th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 23-May 3.

 Lindsay France was queen, and Jenny Smelser and Brandi DeChenne were princesses. The other Top 10 finalists were Cara Thomas, Alisa Burnett, Castilia Dodson, Lisa Sokolowski, Brooke Smith, Lindsay Weaver and Courtnie Hatch.

 Junior royalty were Queen Allison Hericks and princesses Erin Kiick and Jamie Goodman.

 Director general was Cathie Lewis. Applarian chancellor was Bob Curtis

 Doug Miller's oil painting of Canada geese underneath an apple tree along the Columbia River was chosen as the 1999 festival art print.

 June Huber accepted the Leman Johnson Award for her husband, the late Gene “Sarge” Huber, who was the longtime band director at Wenatchee High School. He died in October 1998.

 The first Washington State Apple Blossom Mariachi Northwest Festival was held.

 “A Chorus Line” was Music Theatre of Wenatchee's festival production. Cast members included Roy Draggoo, Kathy Campbell, Jennifer Williams, Nita Paine, Kelly Atwood, Kelly Allen, Danielle Patrick, Casey Christensen, Kathleen Mullen, Lisa Trimble, Barb Goodrich, Scott Norton and Paul Atwood.

 Don Heinicke, a commissioner for the Washington State Fish and Wildlife Department and a self-employed orchardist, was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year.

 Grace Lutheran Church members organized the first Apple Blossom Arts Happening featuring activities for the entire family.

 After 25 years of directing the youth parade, Roger Pollock participated in his last parade by riding in the last car in line. “I always said my last parade was going to be the one I ride in,” Pollock said. “I always know what's going on at the beginning of the parade, and I know what it's like at the end of the parade when the ice cream is handed out.” He would become festival director general in 2000.

 Actor Danny Glover was grand parade marshal. The Tacoma Daffodil Festival float won the grand sweepstakes.

 Melba Cope of Lincoln, Nebraska, was the winner of the seventh Search for Granny Smith Contest.