The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, Inc., has issued several statements this spring on the subject of what we have come to call “the fascinating web of multi-generational famous family connections” that runs through the Festival history. What drives these “famous families,” most of them centered in New York City, Nashville and Los Angeles, to return to a relatively small city in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia? We are convinced that they are enthralled with the physical beauty of our wondrous valley in springtime; that they are fascinated with the stupendous effort put forth by our community to pull off an event that is “way too big for us;” and, that they are deeply moved by the presence of the “old-fashioned” values that can still be found here in the Land of Pink and Green. As the 2004 Prayer Brunch Speaker, Kirk Cameron knows what his daughter, Ahna, will find when she visits us. He accepts the charm of the area and of the Festival as a given; and, he is doing everything in his power to be here with her to share in her experience.
Kirk Cameron began acting at age nine. His first job was in a TV advertisement for breakfast cereal; and, his first starring role was at age 13, in the television series “Two Marriages.” As his career took off, he became a television icon in 1985 after being cast as Mike Seaver in the ABC television sitcom “Growing Pains.” In the series, Mike Seaver would eventually have a girlfriend named Kate MacDonald, played by actress, Chelsea Noble. In a wonderful case of life imitating art, Chelsea Noble became Kirk Cameron’s wife. With his mullet hairstyle, mischievous smile, and wisecracking comebacks, Cameron subsequently became a “teen heartthrob” in the late 1980s, and became a regular on the covers of “Tiger Beat,” “Teen Beat,” “16,” and others. Kirk also guest starred in “Just One of the Guys,” a 1988 episode of “Full House,” in which he played the cousin of D. J. Tanner, a role played by Cameron’s sister, Candace Cameron Bure.
Kirk Cameron went on to star in several films, including 1987’s “Like Father, Like Son,” a body switch comedy with Dudley Moore that was a box office success. “Growing Pains” ran successfully through 1992; but, despite other successful ventures in film and television [and, multiple “Growing Pains” reunion projects with his former cast-mates], Cameron has since mostly left “mainstream” film and television in favor of more independent projects. Cameron has often worked in Christian-themed productions, among them the post-Rapture films: “Left Behind: The Movie;” “Left Behind II: Tribulation Force;” and, “Left Behind: World at War,” in which he plays Cameron “Buck” Williams; and, his real-life wife, Chelsea Noble, plays Hattie Durham. Cameron has worked with Cloud Ten Pictures, a company which produces Christian-themed films, and has starred in several of their films, including “The Miracle of the Cards.” In 2008, he enjoyed much success with the #1 grossing inspirational film of the year, “Fireproof;” and, in 2012, he narrated and hosted his recent documentary, “Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure.” His production company, CAMFAM Studios, has released his latest films: “Unstoppable,” “Mercy Rule,” and “Saving Christmas.” His speaking tour, Love Worth Fighting For, is designed to strengthen marriages across America, and has been hosted in over 150 cities.
Kirk and his wife, Chelsea, have been married for 25 years, are raising six children. They host a camp for terminally ill children and their families called Camp Firefly. Kirk Cameron is a very busy man; and, he is still working on his possible schedule for the 2016 Bloom. At this time, Festival Organizers can say that he will attend several private functions; and, will certainly appear in the Grand Feature Parade on April 30th.