Marco Mendoza won first place, and the grand prize $5,000, at the 2016 Car Credit Nation Apple Blossom’s Got Talent! presented by PMSI (Pest Management Services Inc.) Wednesday April 27 at the Bright Box Theater in Winchester. Second place winner, Ryan Jewel, won $1,500, and third place winner, Jennifer “Baby” Jackson, received $500.
The finals were held during the 89th festival, whose theme is Unforgettable! The festival continues through May 1 in the Winchester area. The contestants were judged by a panel made up of Lars Henriksen, a bass player and member of a blues band; Mario Orsini, illusionist who has judged this contest in past years, and Gwen Pangle, a singer who has performed in many theatrical productions. Master of ceremonies was Mario Retrosi. The guest judge was Lesley Lopez, a life long resident of Martinsburg, W.Va. She has degrees in music education and vocal performance from Shepherd College (University) and has taught music privately and in the West Virginia and Virginia school systems. She held the title of Miss Jefferson County and was third runnerup to Miss West Virginia 1991.