❀ The 83rd Apple Blossom Festival was held April 25-May 5.
❀ Members of the royal court were Queen Natalie Bird and princesses Bergen White and Amanda Johnson. The other Top 10 finalists were Kate Woodley, Shelby Port, Kaycie Tuttle, Andrea Johnson, Sheri Hashemi, Margaret First and Michelle Probst.
❀ Junior royalty were Lisa Jones, queen, and Rebecca Higgins and Brittany Drescher, princesses.
❀ Dennis Johnson was director general. Applarian chancellor was Steve Still.
❀ William Fischer’s painting, “Spring Splendor,” was commissioned as the official art print for the festival.
❀ Praised for their strong support of community events, Weinstein Beverage and general manager Bob Rust were named recipients of the Lehman Johnson Award.
❀ Music Theatre of Wenatchee presented the stage adaptation of the movie “Footloose” as the official production of the festival. The cast included Devin LuBean, Matthew Cadman, Jennifer Lalani, Marie Carlson, Brian Congdon, Nita Paine and Jarred R. Berg.
❀ Brays Landing apple grower Tye Fleming was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year in memory of his late parents, Doyle and Thyra Fleming. Doyle and Thyra, who both died in September of 2001, were among the first to commercially plant Gala apples in 1982, and later Braeburn apples. Both have since become important varieties for state growers.
❀ A shiny, orange, aluminum replica of the airplane, the Miss Veedol, moving in a breeze atop a 16-foot pole in Ballard Park in East Wenatchee was dedicated for the people of Misawa, Japan, East Wenatchee and Wenatchee. The dedication took place before a 19-member Misawa delegation visiting for festival.
❀ The youth parade’s grand marshal was Paul Pugh, founder and director of the Wenatchee Youth Circus. Dressed in his Guppo the Clown outfit, he rode in a 1999 Jaguar XK8.
❀ Olympians Torin Koos and Tom Rothrock were grand parade marshals. The Spokane Lilac Festival took grand sweepstakes.
❀ The winner of the Washington Apple Commission’s Search for Granny Smith was Dianna Murphree of Pelham, Alabama. The announcement was made on stage in Memorial Park.
❀ The 84th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 24-May 4.
❀ Nicole Hankins was queen, and Jodi Howard and Michaela Choman were princesses. The other Top 10 finalists were Wendy Williams, Rebecca Lambert, Karie Scott, Rachel Kuntz, Laura Heminger, Monique White and Stephanie Noble.
❀ Samantha Bennett was queen of the junior royalty. Princesses were Lauren Ferguson and Leanne Thorson.
❀ Director general was Judy Smith. Pat Neumann was Applarian chancellor.
❀ Si and Corina Bautista were honored with the Lehman Johnson Award for their service to the festival.
❀ LaVerne Bergstrom, who has worked for the Washington Apple Commission for 13 years, was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year.
❀ “Big River” was the festival production by Music Theatre of Wenatchee. Marlon Browne and Cody Gillin played the lead roles.
❀ Eliza and Donnie Thornberry of the animated Nickelodeon TV series “The Wild Thornberrys” were grand marshals for the youth parade. Washington Elementary School, with its giant red, white and blue fish — and a sea of followers — earned the Mayor’s Choice Award.
❀ The festival and grand parade focused on support of the thousands of U.S. troops serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. The nation’s military troops were named grand marshals. Representatives of all five military branches — the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard — as well as the National Guard Reserve, were invited to march in the grand parade and appeared as honored guests at several festival functions.
❀ The Clan Gordon Pipe Band, one of the oldest and largest of several Northwest Scottish pipe groups, marched in the grand parade. The “Spirit of Wenatchee” flew over the grand parade, two days after its maiden flight around Wenatchee. The plane was a replica of the customized Bellanca Skyrocket — named Miss Veedol — that Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon flew from Misawa, Japan, to Fancher Field in 1931.