❀ The 85th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 22-May 2.
❀ The queen was Ashley Armstrong. Katie Hampton and Stephanie Gay were the princesses. The other Top 10 finalists were Stephanie Linterman, Lauren Schoenwald, Aimee Addleman, Emily Murray, Erica Waliser, Erin Larson and Kelley Wicheta.
❀ The junior royalty were Queen Elenore Bastian and princesses Cassidy Fagg and Kristen Stone.
❀ Director general was Kim Meredith. Applarian chancellor was Roger Bryant.
❀ “Signs of Spring,” by Entiat artist Jeff Tift, was the official art print of the festival.
❀ Roger and Betty Bryant received the Lehman Johnson Award for service to the festival.
❀ Orondo orchardist Grant Daniel was the Apple Industry Citizen of the Year.
❀ Music Theatre of Wenatchee presented “Hello Dolly!” as its festival production. Daina Toevs starred in the title role.
❀ SpongeBob SquarePants was grand marshal but El Morro, the Muppet-style singer popular in Mexico, stole the show during the youth parade.
❀ Surviving North Central Washington World War II veterans who landed in Normandy were honored as grand parade marshals. This year marked the 60th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the invasion of France in 1944 to fight Nazi forces in Europe. Deceased veterans of the campaign were also honored with the survivors at the all-service club luncheon. The veterans included Arlis Grills, Don Huggins, Eldon Taylor, Alvin Mortenson, Denzel Gwin, the late Donald Phillips, Louis Kill, the late Byron Cummings, Eugene Barr, Maurice Asmussen, Harold Mehelich, the late Jasper Templeton, the late Harvey Hougen, the late Albert Jaspers, the late Howard Sandhop and Emanuel Besel of Wenatchee; the late Charles Pierson, Chester Birks, the late Caetone Domingos, Dick Olton, Fred Holsonbake, Francis Leishman, the late Gordon Bockemohle and Robert Brickman of East Wenatchee; the late Paron Riggleman of Cashmere; the late Dale Kelly of Monitor; Jack Ruth of Malaga; Harold Erwin of Chelan; Willie Ayres of Manson; Ed Holbrook of Pateros; and the late Melvin Tangen of Peshastin.
❀ The 86th Apple Blossom Festival was held April 28-May 8.
❀ Anika Grubbs was queen. Her princesses were Piper Gillin and Pamela Alvarado. The other Top 10 finalists were Dana Gilbert, Sara Harris, Caitlin Himmel, Ashley Larson, Haeley Luebber, Kayli McCallister and Lisa Mills.
❀ Cici Stone was queen of the junior royalty. The princesses were Devyn Huylar and Ellen Walker.
❀ Don Gurnard was director general. Les Jensen was Applarian chancellor.
❀ Gail Hays and Anne Tilly were crowned king and queen of the Wenatchee Valley Senior Activity Center, representing local seniors at the festival.
❀ The Lehman Johnson Award was presented to Bill and Mary Dodge for their support of the festival.
❀ “Apple Blossoms for Misawa” was the festival art print by local artist Franc Hanna.
❀ Mike Wade was named Apple Industry Citizen of the Year.
❀ Music Theatre of Wenatchee presented “Into the Woods” as its festival production. The cast included Mariann Browne, David Reimer, Paul Atwood, Maggie Boles, Carol Bowen, Matt Cadman, Maren Cagle, Kayla Caron, Barbara Conrad, Abel Jackson and Karen Kunkel.
❀ Three Navy SEALS parachuted into Recreation Park at the start of the grand parade. The 37-member Wenatchee Unit of the Washington State National Guard’s Charlie Company were the grand parade marshals. The soldiers’ children served as grand marshals in the youth parade. The unit soldiers were David Anderson, Andrew Bjur, Thomas Blair, Matthew Comar, Steve Corter, Robert David, Douglas Ewald, Erik Fleiger, Marshall Floyd, David Jr. Fowler, James Gibson, Michael Ginther, Nathan Hawkins, Shaun Hayes, Steven Howard, Christian Johnson, Bill Kunsman, Ted Keyes, Rodick Lindert, Nicholas Loveless, Steve Lowell, Servando Maldonado, Michael Menley, Devin Nissen, Levi Noyes, Dustin Pfitzer, John Prouty, Charles Pugsley, Erron Samson, Ben Seims, Eric Seims, Mark Shaw, Christian Striggow, Greg Talbot, Brett Wachsmith, Norm Warford and Pete Welker. They returned home March 1 from their deployment in Iraq.
❀ An apple pie eating contest was a new event for the festival. Chris Hampton, Eric Fode and Don Husky were division winners.