WINCHESTER, Va. - Founded in 1897 and opening a location in
"Our store was right downtown, back years and years ago," said the current Winchester Store Manager, Ron Troyer.
"We had a glass window on the second floor, and that's where everybody used to meet to see the Apple Blossom Parade,” said the store’s first Assistant Manager back in 1950, Bill Chapman. “We sat up there and would look down at the parade going by."
Chapman remembers renting chairs to parade fans looking for a place to sit.
"With our manager’s permission, I took some lawn chairs from inside and rented them to people outside, out front,” he said.
He remembers one year it rained, sleeted and snowed all in one parade. “People would come and I’d rent them the chair, next thing you know it would rain them out. They'd go away. It happened three different times that year. It was a strange time,” Chapman said.
Chapman also remembers when Schewel's Furniture participated in the Apple Blossom window decorating contest. Using aluminum foil, fans and a pink and green cardboard boat, they turned their storefront into a sea of pink and green.
"They were offering prizes for the store that did the best, and we won first prize that year," he said with a smile.
Schewel's has since moved locations, but they still keep some off their old traditions, like closing their store on Saturday.
"We’ll be closing on that Saturday, basically so that the employees can go an experience and enjoy Apple Blossom,” said Troyer.
"I’ve probably been to every Apple Blossom in the last 56 years, because I’m turning 57 in April,” said sales consultant Kevin Ritter.
After being around for so many years, the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival brings out a tone of traditions. Make sure you share yours with us on our Facebook page!