When the streets of Winchester are paved with apple blossoms…and you spot a pink and green flag on just about every street corner and home…You know it’s bloom time.
“We live for Apple Blossom, we have never missed an apple blossom, I’m 77 and I’ve never missed an apple blossom.” Richard Keller says.
And now Richard Keeler couldn’t miss the apple blossom festival if he tried. He can see main events right from his front porch.
“We wanted this house for its location for the Apple Blossom, right on the corner and right across the street over here is where they have their queen and attendants right here is where they have the queen and all the attendants right here and princesses and they announce it and all the bands that come through here, play live right here,” he says.
Now in its 92nd year, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is a week and a half long- series of events, celebrations and parades. And the parades bring thousands of people to downtown Winchester. Those who live on the parade route like Keeler consider themselves lucky. Joanna McCall is one of them- and every year, she makes sure her house is parade route ready!
“I prepare all year round, you go shopping for things you want to use to decorate with I order things throughout the year.” Joanna McCall says.
She says each year hundreds of people stop by her home right off of Handley Avenue.
“Coming by seeing my house, they’ll come during the year and say, are you going to decorate, are you going to do this and that, and I say yea, it’s gone be done, I enjoy the people and it makes the people happy too!” she says.
Keeler says it doesn’t matter if you live on the parade route or not, Apple Blossom makes everybody feel like they’re at home.
“Everybody gets along everybody is friendly it’s just a good time to share with friends and family, and that’s what we do here, we invite friends and family to come and share apple blossom with us,” he says.
The firefighter parade will travel the route on Friday, and the grand feature parade on Saturday.