For many months, the Northern Shenandoah Valley has watched Shenandoah University’s James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center rise above Interstate 81 on Winchester’s east side. It is a hugely impressive structure, correctly described locally as: “Hard to miss!” There has been much speculation this winter in the Land of Pink and Green as to whether or not the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® would take advantage of it, and in what way that might happen. It is, therefore, with a great deal of pleasure that Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, president of Shenandoah University, and Mike Stanfield, president of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, jointly announce that the Festival will enter into a long-term “Facility Use Agreement” with the university. In conjunction with this agreement, the Festival events formerly held at the Tolley Dental Tent on the campus of the Winchester Medical Center will be moved to the Tolley Dental Zone, the Festival’s premier event venue, located inside and immediately outside the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center.
- Wednesday, May 2nd, 12:00noon – Valley Health Business at the Bloom Luncheon
- Thursday, May 3rd, 11:00am – Bloomtown Derby: A Wine and Food Experience
- Thursday, May 3rd, 8:00pm – Caribbean Nights Dance Party
- Friday, May 4th, 11:00am – Ferguson Bloomers’ Luncheon
- Friday, May 4th, 8:00pm – Jim Stutzman Chevrolet 80’s Dance Party
- Saturday, May 5th, 8:00pm – Country Music Party
- Sunday, May 6th, 10:00am – Donegal Insurance Group Bluegrass Festival
“Ground zero” in the Tolley Dental Zone will be the Tolley Dental Stage. The Festival has already arranged, and, in some cases, is continuing to arrange, for a steady stream of talent to grace the Tolley Dental Stage:
- Valley Health Business at the Bloom – Featured Speaker in place; to be announced soon!
- Caribbean Nights Dance Party – The scorching hot rhythms of “Pablo Antonio y La Firma”
- Ferguson Bloomers’ Luncheon – “Souled Out” plays this event like the ultimate pros that they are
- Jim Stutzman Chevrolet 80’s Dance Party – Back with their New York City glitz: “Rubix Kube”
- Country Music Party – Nationally-known headline act to be announced soon!
- Donegal Insurance Group Bluegrass Festival – Lineup in place; to be announced soon!
A large group of Festival Organizers assembled at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center at Shenandoah University recently to get a feel for the size and scope of the facility. When asked what aspects of the new facility they found most interesting the answers were: “No matter how cold it is outside, it will be warm. No matter how hot it is outside, it will be cool. No matter how hard it is raining outside, it will be dry. No matter how hard the wind is blowing outside, it will be safe and secure.” According to Google, the famous quote: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished;” is attributed to that most quotable American, Benjamin Franklin. It is as true now as it was in the 1700s; and, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® will never stop changing; because, it never intends to be “finished.” Please join us at Shenandoah University in 2018!