The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival has won four awards for its activities connected to the 2023 celebration.

The accolades were given by the Washington Festival and Events Association at its annual Pacific Northwest Summit Awards conference in Issaquah this week.

Apple Blossom Festival administrator Darci Christoferson says it was an honor to be recognized for so many achievements, especially when considering the competition.

"This was unusual. With our budget, we're competing against the biggest festivals in the state like Seafair and the Winthrop Arts and Jazz Festival. We're competing with the big time, so for us to be able to win four awards made us very, very happy."

Christoferson also notes her pleasure at who made the awards possible.

"I think it's very cool that all of the awards we won were the brainchild of somebody else - not Apple Blossom staff or our board - just people in the community who had an idea and said 'let's do it!' But that's what's so great about our festival is just how many people there are to do things in our community that make it such a success."

The awards won by the Apple Blossom Festival were outlined as follows in a press release from the organization:

GREEN PROGRAM - Zero Waste Apple Blossom During Festival 2023 more than 13 tons of garbage was collected during the festival. A group of community organizations launched a recycling and composting effort during the Festival. Zero Waste Apple Blossom was a community effort involving Wenatchee Valley Rotary Clubs, Winton Manufacturing Compost Works, Young Life, Waste Management, Waste Loop and Sustainable North Central Washington. Community volunteers, members of the participating organizations, and members of the WHS Interact Club and WVC Sustainability Program, helped guide festival attendees to deposit compostable and recyclable items in the correct receptacles located throughout Memorial Park. Icicle Brewing & München Haus in Leavenworth offered a $2,000 sponsorship to purchase compostable cups for the beer garden, and Winton Manufacturing donated its services to collect and process them. Confluence Rotary volunteers collected and transported empty glass bottles to the Rotary 911 Glass Rescue Center in Chelan.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM - Apple Blossom Youth Parade Grand Marshal Youth Parade chair, Shayne Rennie, came up with the idea to honor an adult in our community that deserves to be recognized. The guidelines for the nomination were someone who has a positive impact on youth in our Valley, is inspirational, fair, and has a servant heart. The nominated individual received $1,000, sponsored by Larson Gross, to donate to a local charity of the recipients choice and was honored as the Grand Marshal in the Tekniplex Youth Parade. This years recipient was Erica Moshe, Brave Warrior Project

MULTI AGENCY COLLABORATIVE PROGRAM – Chief for a Day Chief for a Day has been a Festival event for 21 years. It is an opportunity to celebrate the lives of chronically and/or terminally ill children from our area. The purpose of the Chief for a Day Program is to create partners between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and the community to provide a day of special attention to chronically ill children. Each child is selected and sponsored by a law enforcement agency. The children, or “Little Chiefs”, are provided with tailored law enforcement uniforms matching their sponsoring agencies, including badges and are honorary sworn into office for a day. The students are selected through a nomination process.

OUTDOOR ADVERTISEMENT - For over 60 years, the Apple Blossom Festival has provided street banners that are put up, by City employees in Wenatchee & East Wenatchee to promote the upcoming Festival. Commonly, you will see a large feathered banner displayed over the entrance to a street where the Festival is being held, or at various locations around the event. Over 200 banners are all over town during the months of March, April and May to signal “spring is near” for the Wenatchee Valley. All banners and flags are designed by Kyle Barnes, GO USA.

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