The traditional opening to the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival this week will be highlighted by the Chief For A Day program when local law enforcement agencies honor local children as a ceremonial department head.

The heartwarming program honors seven youngsters selected each year who are facing a chronic illness or disability.  The program serves as an uplifting day to recognize them in front of their classmates for their perseverance in light of the challenges they face.

The Chief For A Day program opens the 105th Apple Blossom Festival on Thursday, April 25th in Memorial Park in Wenatchee.

The celebration begins with a law enforcement escorted motorcade from Wal-Mart,  arriving in Memorial Park at 11:50am.  The "Chief's For A Day" will be welcomed to the Memorial Park stage and the heads of the seven participating agencies will introduce each youngster and share a a few details on each "Little Chief's" day in charge of their department.  The program concludes with a flyover from the Chelan County Sheriff's Department Helicopter.

Here are this year's honorees for the 2024 Chief For a Day Celebration:

Wenatchee Police Department

  • Chief For A Day Sabrina Sanchez-Escalera, Lincoln Elementary with Chief Steve Crown

Chelan County Sheriff's Office

  • Sheriff For A Day Christiaan Cisnerson, Lewis & Clark Elementary with Sheriff Mike Morrison   

WA State Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

  • Chief For A Day Victoria Cuevas, Lincoln Elementary  with Captain Mike Jewell 

East Wenatchee Police Department

  • Chief For A Day Isaiah Lynn, Cascade Elementary with Chief Rick Johnson 

Douglas County Sheriff's Office

  • Sheriff For A Day Rigdon Whitehall, Cascade Elementary with Sheriff Kevin Morris

Washington State Patrol

  • Chief For A Day Xander Chadderton from Columbia Elementary with Captain Daniel Richmond

Wenatchee Valley Fire Department

  • Chief For A day Itzel Gamino Rubio, Cascade Elementary with Chief Brian Brett 

The youngsters and the families will have a reception at a private event following the public ceremony at the YMCA before their official motorcade returns them back to the Wal-Mart parking lot.

The Chief For A Day program is sponsored locally by Cascade Chevrolet, Apple Blossom Festival, Central Washington Lions Club, Wal-Mart, Safeway, C.W. Nielsen Mfg. Costco, Haglund Trophies, LINK Transit, NCW Quilt Guild, WA State Troopers Assoc., Plumb Perfect, Pepsi, Wenatchee Valley YMCA, Nancy's Party Rentals, Diane Ritter-Sew Rite Alterations, Slide Waters

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