1968

♦ The 49th Apple Blossom Festival was held May 2-5.

♦ Gail Ross was queen. Princesses were Rosemary Kells and Kathy Murren. The Royal Maids were Linda Sears, Lee Ann Barke, Patti Holden, Stephanie Ann Loomis, Shari Milliken, Linda Thomson, Sally Conyers and Marti Reich.

♦ Director general was Richard Eacho.

♦ Wenatchee Mayor E.C. Schoeneman and Queen Gail planted a tree in Memorial Park during an Arbor Day observance.

♦ Blue Bird Royalty were Queen Becky Milner and princesses Kelli McKnight and Julie Gellatly. The trio rode upon the Kiwanis float during the grand parade.

♦ Queen Gail and her princesses appeared on the Seattle-based J.P. Patches children's TV show. They performed a skit on the show, and Queen Gail presented that year's Apple Blossom Festival pin to the show's star.

♦ The Jerry Gray Band, with a Glenn Miller big band sound, was the featured entertainment for the queen's ball at Pioneer Junior High School gym. Also performing were the American Addition, a five-member folk group from Wenatchee High School, and the Orchard Junior High School stage band under the direction of Robert Yetter. Paul Pugh was chairman of the event.

♦ The annual festival dance, staged for the first time by the Children's Foundation Guild I, featured a large Maypole in the center of the Cascadian Hotel's ballroom.

♦ Exotic island foods were flown in from Hawaii for the First Niter Champagne Luau, sponsored by Music Theatre of Wenatchee. The event preceded the premiere of "South Pacific," this year's festival musical. Mary Hughes and Dr. Al Stojowski were in the leading roles.

♦ YWCA Youth Theatre presented "Babes in Toyland" for its festival production.

♦  Frank Hough of Wenatchee, International Apple Association's "Apple Man of the Year," was the parade's grand marshal. Actor DeForest Kelley, who played Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy on NBC-TV's "Star Trek," was an honored guest.

♦ Sunnyslope's float "String of Pearls" took the grand parade's top prize.

1969

♦ The 50th Golden Anniversary Apple Blossom Festival was held May 1-4.

♦ The royal court were Queen Linda Parkhill and princesses Kay Goff and Susan Mullen. The Royal Maids were Pam Stojowski, Dianna Johnson, Linda Mackey, Kandi Todd, Marcia Allen, Faith Bissonnette and Cheryl Cockrill.

♦ Royalty chaperones were Mrs. David Caldwell and Mrs. J.K. McArthur Jr.

♦ Queen Linda shared the limelight with Yumiko Takenaka, queen of the Aomori (Japan) Apple Blossom Festival. A delegation from Aomori came to Wenatchee for the festival to reciprocate a 1967 visit by Queen Patty Scaman and a delegation who traveled to Japan for Aomori's celebration.

♦ Jack Shreve was director general. Committee chairs were Lyle Bland, parade; Jerry Otis, finance; George Sellar, events; Rod Phinney, royalty; and Irv Kuest, float and float tours.

♦ Music Theatre of Wenatchee presented "Oklahoma!" as its festival production. Among the cast were Richard Lapo, Virginia Sage, Peggy Anderson and Arlo Baker.

♦ Youth Theatre of Wenatchee presented "Tom Sawyer." Larry Bossen, Marti Barke and Tom Tyrrell were in the leading roles.

♦ Dedication of the Pangborn-Herndon Memorial was held at Fancher Field. The fountain in Memorial Park was also dedicated, a gift from Mayor and Mrs. E.C. Schoeneman.

♦ Students from Washington School assumed characters from TV shows as they marched in the youth parade. "Lost in Space" was Lanny Gargett, dressed as a robot.

♦ The coronation event was, for the first time, planned by Wenatchee Valley College students. Kay Mills and Linda Gormley were in charge.

♦ Honored guests in the grand parade were Al Roth, 1947 director general; Al Worley, All-American football player from the University of Washington; and Dr. Eva Anderson, a veteran educator, former state legislator, author and 1968 Pioneer Honor Citizen. Grand marshal was Gov. Shunkichi Takeuchi from Japan's Aomori Prefecture. Sunnyslope received the grand sweepstakes award.

♦ The "Festival Spectacular," a two-hour show, featured Arden & Maisie, a song-and-dance comedy duo from England; comedians Tommy Bleeker,  Dick Kerr and Dianne McManus; the Seldom Six, a teen combo from Portland; and the Kennelly Girls, a Dixieland band from Seattle. The evening concluded with a fireworks display.