A Little Event History: The Willows At Meadow Branch Young At Heart Luncheon Dance, newly Sponsored in 2018 by Miracle Ear, began “life” as the Senior Adult Luncheon Dance, an event created jointly in the 1990s by the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® and Frederick County Parks and Recreation. Although, it has always been attended by lovers of “Big Band Music” of all ages, it has always been obvious that the main thrust of the event has been to give the “senior” members of the Bloom Nation an event especially themed for them. Over the years, the event has undergone a name change, has had several Event Chairs, and has been held in several Festival venues. In 2010, the event moved to, and found itself somewhat overwhelmed in, the rather cavernous confines of the Festival’s semi-outdoor, 20,000+ square foot, unheated Festival Event Tent.
A Recent Event Change: The event’s odyssey ended in 2016, when the Festival moved The Willows At Meadow Branch Young At Heart Luncheon Dance to its current location: the nicely-sized, perfectly-laid-out ballroom at the Millwood Station Event Center. At this location, there is convenient parking directly adjacent to the building; there are several ground-level entrances; there are no steps and no un-even floors; the building is heated and air-conditioned as needed; and, the bathrooms are clean, adequate and “in the same building.”
New for the 2018 Event: Since the 2017 Festival, the event’s “house orchestra,” For Dancers Only, decided to disband; but, seamlessly, The Nitehawks Swing Band has now stepped into that featured role. The band describes itself this way: “For over 20 years The Nitehawks Swing Band has been entertaining audiences in the Washington D.C. metro area. They have a broad repertoire that includes everything from swing to Latin to waltzes to big band classics and more. Nitehawks Swing is a full 18-piece big band, and is known for its full-bodied ensemble sound, swinging rhythms, comfortable dance tempos and top notch musicians. Their philosophy is that a dance set should flow and always keep dancers entertained and eager for the next dance.”
Cherished Event Tradition: A delicious three-course luncheon by Sodexo Catering is always an event highlight; and, in what has become the event’s signature moment, a warm apple dumpling is served before the meal.
Cherished Event Tradition: Another event highlight will be the traditional visit by Queen Shenandoah XCI-Designate [before her Coronation] and her Court as she begins her whirlwind weekend in the Apple Capital.
The Willows At Meadow Branch Young At Heart Luncheon Dance will be held on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018, from 11:00am to 2:00pm, at 252 Costello Drive, in Winchester. Tickets are $25.00 and they may be purchased:
- Or, a hard-copy Ticket Order Form can be filled out at Apple Blossom Headquarters at 135 North Cameron Street [phone: 540-662-3863], or downloaded and mailed in.
- Or, you can call Event Co-Chair, B. J. Dove, for assistance at 540-662-5330
- Or, you can purchase tickets when the Official Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet opens on Friday, April 6th, at 10:00am, at 2218 Wilson Boulevard in Winchester