Wenatchee prepares for 2021 Apple Blossom Festival

For the Basin Business Journal | May 8, 2021 1:00 AM

WENATCHEE — It’s going to be a little later than usual, but there will be a Washington State Apple Blossom Festival this year.

Though there won’t be any blossoms on apple trees from June 3-13, when the festival is scheduled.

“We thought summer would be better. The majority of the community would be vaccinated, the state will likely be in Phase 4, so we are moving forward and planning for the festival,” said event organization Darci Christoferson.

“Everybody is joking that it’s the Cherry Harvest Festival and not the Apple Blossom Festival,” she added. “Cherries are crazy in Wenatchee.”

Typically from late April through early May, the Apple Blossom Festival marked its 100th anniversary in 2019. The festival was founded to celebrate the importance of apple growing and harvesting to the region.

Even as the state slowly unwinds from restrictions imposed over a year ago to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, festival organizers are planning the 2021 event with COVID-19 in mind. Masks and six-foot social distancing will be required of all festival-goers, the Beer Garden will operate at 50% capacity, and safety protocols will be in place at the carnival.

While most of the festival is scheduled for the first two weeks of June, the Washington Trust Bank Apple Blossom Golf Tournament is still in mid-May, and will be at Highlander Golf Course in East Wenatchee on Thursday, May 13.

The rest of the festival kicks off on Thursday, June 3, with food, live music and the beer garden every day of the event in Wenatchee’s Memorial Park beginning at 11 a.m. for the food fair, noon for live performances, and 4 p.m. for the beer garden. All events are scheduled until 5 p.m. every day of the festival.

In addition, there is an Art-4-Kidz show (for information on entering see https://www.appleblossom.org/festival-calendar/art4kidz) and Youth Day, sponsored by Pepsi Cola on June 6, a community luncheon at noon on June 9 featuring a keynote address from Wenatchee High School graduate, former teacher and CharacterStrong founder John Norlin.

On Friday, June 11, the festival will feature an Arts and Crafts Fair and the Classy Chassis Parade and Car Show. Finally, the show’s penultimate day of June 12 will see the Stemilt and Keyes Fibre Community Parade beginning at 11 a.m., which will feature all of the dignitaries who should have been part of the canceled 2020 Apple Blossom Festival, as well as this year’s.

That includes this year’s festival royalty, Queen Brooke Perez, Princess Kody Richards and Princess Kamryn Fowler.

“It will be a combination of the youth parade and the grand parade,” Christoferson said. “We didn’t have the opportunity to honor folks in 2020. It will be a fun community event.”

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com