Cooperative Living April 2024 - 14

COOPERATIVE FOCUS
A Green Light
to be Tickled Pink
(continued fr om page 11)
his only daughter, Susan Elizabeth Ford,
was Queen Shenandoah.
Th e Ford connection continues this
year with Joy Elizabeth Berlanga, Ford's
great-granddaughter and a high school
senior in Texas, as Queen Shenandoah
XCVII, designate. Joy
is the daughter of Tyne
Vance Berlanga, Queen
Shenandoah in 2001,
and the granddaughter
of Susan Ford Bales.
Stewart, from the
Dario Savarese, the festival's marketing
director, says word of mouth among
celebrities does much of the legwork.
When they see other " legends " have
attended past events, and then hear from
those stars that they enjoyed their time,
the festival starts to sell itself, he says.
" Th is is where we talk about the 'aha'
" There is something
for everyone. "
- Sharen Gromling,
Festival President
local chamber, says her
fi ancé gushed about meeting Sean Astin
in 2023. Th e " Lord of the Rings, " " Rudy "
and " Th e Goonies " actor might as well
take up residency in Winchester, though.
Astin's three daughters have all been
crowned queen, and he was the feature
parade's grand marshal in 2004.
" It's just cool to be in the same room
as a bunch of celebrities, " Stewart says.
" Th at's not something you get to do in
Winchester. And they're just as excited
to be there as you are. "
moment for them, " Savarese says. " We've
heard diff erent celebrities say it's an 'aha'
moment they get aſt er they've attended
because they didn't fully
know what to expect. Th ey
see there's this community
that comes together for
all these events.
" It's diffi cult to
explain. But when you
live it, you feel it, " he says.
Dan Bonner, a college basketball
television broadcaster who lives in
Augusta County, was deemed a festival
" celebrity " in 1996-'97, and his memories
match Savarese's description of how
dignitaries tend to walk away impressed.
" Our children were relatively young,
and they were thrilled to attend the
circus, where they loved the elephants,
and they thought riding in the parade
was about as big time as possible, "
Bonner says. " Since my wife and I had
One of the marquee
events of Apple Blossom
is the Bloomers' luncheon
for women, scheduled
for Friday, May 3.
a few events to attend, my mother and
father also came with us to watch the kids
while we attended those events, and they
thought the whole thing was great, too.
" I have lots of really good 'general'
memories of enjoying myself at a wellorganized
event run by extremely nice
people. "
He recalls being a " little starstruck "
by meeting Darrell Green, a Washington
Redskins' icon who was the festival sports
marshal in 1997. Bonner says he bought
a tuxedo for the event, picking it up on
the way north on Interstate 81 about 80
miles to Winchester, when he discovered
the shop that made alterations mixed
up his pants for those of a much-smaller
person.
" So, my 'new' tuxedo was pants-less, "
he says. " Fortunately, I had brought along
a pair of black dress pants for some other
festival event, and they served for the
night. To this day, I hope nobody noticed. "
A BLOOMIN' GOOD TIME
Unlike her chamber of commerce
colleague, Jenny Stover - Top of
Virginia's director of marketing and
communications - is not a Valley
resident who grew up on the festival.
Over her dozen years as a local, she's
12 * Cooperative Living * April 2024
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Cooperative Living April 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cooperative Living April 2024

Cooperative Living April 2024 - 1
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 2
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 3
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 4
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 5
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 6
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 7
Cooperative Living April 2024 - 8
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