The First Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival May 3, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival May 3, 1924

Here the parade participants circle the racetrack as spectators view the parade from a grandstand. There was no caption on this photo, but I’m guessing it might possibly be the VMI Regimental Band. Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

The first Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester was held 95 years ago on May 3, 1924. It was a one-day event featuring a parade, the crowning of Queen Shenandoah, and a program of interpretative dance. To kick off the celebration, the parade assembled at the old fairgrounds just off Fairmont Avenue and marched through the streets of Winchester to the Royal Pavilion on the grounds of Handley High School.

Beginning in 1925, the first of three pageants was professionally produced by the John B. Rogers Production Company and staged on a dais at the fairgrounds. In 1928 the outdoor pageants were moved to the steps and esplanade of Handley High School. The pageant earned a reputation as being one of the most beautiful outdoor extravaganzas in the nation. The festival was suspended during World War II, and resumed in 1946 with its first celebrity grand marshals, Bing Crosby in 1948 and Bob Hope in 1949.

Since its beginnings in 1924, the festival has grown over the years to a ten-day celebration with over 30 events, including two huge parades, a carnival, dances, concerts, a 10K race, wine festival, golf tournament, and much more.

These photos from Lewis Reed’s album are what appears to be some of the very first photos of the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival held at the old fairgrounds in Winchester, Virginia. As always, click on an image to enlarge.

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

The B&O Railroad had a float in the Apple Blossom Parade. Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival 1924

Photo by Lewis Reed, 1924

Source: thebloom.com

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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