Shenandoah Valley Apple Blossom – just as much Fun as Disney

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Shenandoah Valley Apple Blossom – just as much Fun as Disney
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Go Blue Ridge Travel

This year Go Blue Ridge Travel is creating a special page for just kids and the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Called ‘The Bloom’, this year’s Shenandoah Valley Festival is all about the LOVE of enjoying the activities and events here in the state of Virginia.  Now 86 years old, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival will run for ten days from April 26th to May 5th. Although most of the events are definitely geared to adults, there are many activities geared for the younger set under 18 years old. Here is a fun weekend itinerary plan for families. Check out the Stay and Play Overnight and Ticket Packages


Let’s start with Friday’s Shenandoah Valley Orthodontics – Kids Bloomin Mile.  The annual Kids Bloomin’ Mile is a race open to all children ages 6 to 14. Over 1200 kids ran the mile in 2012. It is run on a certified course starting and finishing in front of the Parade Grand Stand, covering the first mile of our famous 10-K course. The race will begin at 4:00 PM on Friday, May 3rd, and awards will be presented promptly after the race. All runners will receive a t-shirt and commemorative medal. Age group awards will also be given. Join us for this fun event and stay for the Firefighters’ Paradewhich immediately follows.

That evening, kids can attend the Firefighter’s Parade. The first Torchlight and Mummer’s Parade in 1929 stepped off at 8 p.m. with each of the Winchester Fire Departments participating. Each Firefighter carried a flaming torch. From its humble beginning it is now the largest and one of the oldest annual Firefighters’ Parades in the World.

The evening wraps up with Fireworks. Apple Blossom revelers can finish their Friday at the Nightfest and Fireworks Display, an area of the Festival that offers something for everyone. Walk from the Firefighters’ Parade to the Handley campus, enjoy the rides, find your perfect spot on the lawn, and watch the fireworks!

People will begin spreading blankets on the ground at 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon in anticipation of the fireworks display which will take place at approximately 9:15 p.m. immediately following the Firefighters’ Parade. As the crowd gathers during the afternoon and evening, vendors will offer various food items in the mini-midway, as well as glow-sticks, glow-in-the-dark necklaces, and other souvenirs.

Live concerts will be presented from the stage at the corner of the Handley bowl and Valley Avenue beginning at 8 p.m. Vendors on the campus will be selling pizza and soft drinks or water.

Numerous inflatable bouncy rides will be available for the children, and 92.5 WINC FM will be present with prizes and games. The open-air concert and carnival-style atmosphere will continue until dark, at which time all lights will go off and the fireworks will begin.

A free event, the fireworks has proven to be a crowd pleaser for thousands at the Handley campus. Come early and stay late. Your family will love the show sponsored by Rugs Direct and jim Stutzman Chevrolet Cadillac.


Fun starts with the Apple Blossom Carnival rides, produced by Powers Great American Midways, Inc. offer a variety of activities. The rides open on Tuesday, April 30 and continue through Sunday, May 5. The “Ride for One Price” is offered every day again this year and can be purchased at the carnival site. Discount coupons are available at the Apple Blossom Souvenir Store and selected businesses in Winchester. The carnival is located off Valley Avenue behind Anthony’s Pizza I. Come join us.

Next is the Chevrolet Grand Feature Parade. the Grand Feature Parade steps off at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4th, in Old Town Winchester. The parade route stretches from Old Town Winchester, to the Handley School area. The Budweiser Clydesdales are returning this year and for the 1st time the Washington Redskin’s Band! 

The parade is a lot of fun since there are floats, bands, dancers, horses, and more.  It is long though, so you may want to watch a part of it and then take a break and go to the pool if you are spending the day at one of the Stay and Play Hotels.

With those words by Queen Shenandoah LXXXVI, , the two-day Weekend in the Park Spring Expo will open at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4th. A new attraction for the two days is the Subaru Boad and RV Show featuring over 150 Boats, RV’s, Jet Ski’s, ATV’s camping equipment and more! The event, sponsored by Subaru, Valley Health, and Chevrolet , is an annual family fun event.

Saturday and Sunday – The Arts & Crafts Show is on Saturday in the Park. Sunday enjoy additional attractions including Kids Fun Day, alongside the Midway. It is especially geared for kids of all ages. Second is the Yesterday’s Cruisers Car Show, which again promises to have over 200 vintage and classic “muscle cars” from the 40s, 50s and 60s! This event is on Sunday only and is weather-dependent. There will also be a second day of Entertainment & Midway.

Admission is only $5.00. A two-day pin is available for $7.50. Children 12 and under accompanied by an adult are free. All US Military personnel in uniform will be admitted for free.