Article courtesy F.C. LOWE
The Winchester Star
The Beatles may live in a yellow submarine, but the Winchester area resides in “The Land of Pink & Green,” the theme for the 87th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®.
President Lou Ann Thompson set the tone for the announcement Wednesday evening at Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury, citing many examples of the colors defining the spring festival, which will be held next year from April 25 to May 4.
At the most recent festival’s apple pie baking contest, Thompson remembered the breathtaking sea of pink and green apple trees at Marker-Miller orchards, where the event is held.
The barrage of colors continued with the Grand Feature Parade the next day with pink and green flags, banners, and fashions everywhere, she said. Plus, she referred to music as often being a big part of some themes.
To help her introduce the theme to the gathering of about 100 people, Barry Lee, radio show host for WINC-FM, took the stage. Thompson introduced him as the unofficial mayor of Apple Blossom, who has participated in festival activities for many years.
He immediately began singing a rendition of the Beatles song “Yellow Submarine,” substituting words about the festival and asking the audience to join in. A listener to his morning radio show, Barbara Simmons, had sent him the lyrics in 2007 using the familiar song but with descriptors to suit the festival. “She emailed me what she had written and asked what can you do with this,” Lee said. He tweaked it, recorded it and plays it to kick off the Queen’s Dinner, a traditional event of each festival.
“I’m such a sentimental soul,” Lee said. “I love Apple Blossom, and the people who take part every year. To have a little part in it is awesome.”
The program cover and pin distributed this year will use the theme illustration prepared by Erik Zimmerman, graphic artist of White Spider Design. A committee decides the theme after sharing ideas, Thompson said. “Erik listens to the ideas and puts them into a theme.”
This is the 16th consecutive themed festival in the modern era, said John Rosenberger, executive director of Apple Blossom. “There were themes from time to time in the past … but the real heyday of an officially chosen theme has been from 1999 to the present.” Rosenberger said he has been associated with the festival for more than 60 years and thinks this theme is dynamite. “When I had the poster of the theme in my office this week, it really popped.”
Thompson charged those in attendance to help start the buzz now that the theme is out. “Go home and share this with friends,” she said. “This marks the beginning of the 2014 festival.”
She also said it is bittersweet for her since this is her second and last year as president and her final theme announcement. “Many people may adopt our colors for other events, but this truly is the land of pink and green,” she said.
Brochures with ticket purchase forms are available at the festival office, 135 N. Cameron St., Winchester. Call 540-662-3863.