It is with the utmost pleasure that Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Jim Douglas, announces that the charming, versatile and amazingly quick-witted, Wayne Brady, will visit the Apple Capital this spring to serve the 2016 Bloom as the White House® Foods Grand Marshal. A fixture in multiple entertainment genres, Wayne Brady is the fifth in a line of top-quality Grand Marshals made possible for the Festival through the generous support of White House® Foods, and David and Paige Gum. He is preceded by: 2012 – Mario Lopez; 2013 – Scotty McCreery; 2014 – Sean and Catherine Lowe; and, 2015 – Kevin Jonas. Festival Organizers have made a conscious effort in recent years to attract contemporary celebrities; and, they are most grateful for this “hometown” help in securing what has become an impressive series of Grand Marshals!
For Wayne Brady, music and comedy have always been at the center of his wildly successful and diverse career. Wayne has been entertaining audiences with his singing, acting and unmatched improvisational skills for well over a decade. This diversity has led to a career that goes far beyond the term “triple threat.” Recently, Wayne starred on Broadway as Lola in the Tony Award winning musical “Kinky Boots.” He began his career in Orlando working at theme parks and performing in several local theater shows. It was in Orlando that his love for improvisation was ignited as a member of the Orlando improvisational comedy theater, SAK Comedy Lab. In 1998, his career took off with “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” for which he won a 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety, Musical or Comedy Series. Wayne went on to host his own syndicated talk show “The Wayne Brady Show” for two seasons. He was honored with two Emmys for Outstanding Talk Show Host and the show also won Outstanding Talk Show. In 2005, Brady returned to his first love, Music Theater, starring in the Broadway production of “Chicago,” in the role of lawyer Billy Flynn.
Wayne conquered Las Vegas with his hit stage show “Makin’ It Up.” The show has been heralded as “pure genius” and “hysterically funny.” Brady has taken the show around the world playing in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. Wayne again returned to live theater in 2010 when he joined the all-star cast in the Neil Patrick Harris directed “Rent” at the historic Hollywood Bowl. A stunning vocal talent, Wayne was nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance for his single “A Change Is Gonna Come,” off his debut album “A Long Time Coming.” In addition, Wayne released a children’s album entitled “Radio Wayne” which took the top spot on iTunes and Amazon kids’ charts. Brady has been featured in several films including: “Crossover,” “Roll Bounce,” for Fox Searchlight, as well as the animated film “Foodfight.” An award winning host, Wayne has been tapped to host several high-profile shows including the NAACP Awards, the BET Honors, as well as guest hosting The Late Late Show for a week earlier last year. His hosting role on the iconic “Let’s Make A Deal” has garnered several Emmy nominations. In 2007, Brady became an official supporter of Ronald McDonald House Charities as a member of their celebrity board.
The fabulous Wayne Brady’s Winchester appearances will officially be limited to Saturday, April 30th, as he takes his position at the lead of the 2016 Grand Feature Parade. Excellent seats to the Grand Feature Parade will go on sale on Monday, April 4th, when the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet opens at 212 East Cork Street, at 10:00am. Updates on all Festival events can be found at the Festival’s Official web site, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; and, through the Festival’s Official app.