If you’re a former North Carolina Apple Queen or Ambassador, it’s time to polish off your crown, show those pearly whites, and practice your wave. The 65th edition of the North Carolina Apple Festival wants to recognize and thank all of the beauties who have represented Hendersonville’s biggest festival over the years.
“This is our 65th anniversary, so we decided to bring back our Apple Queens and our Apple Ambassadors and put them in the parade,” says David Nicholson, the festival’s executive director.
For years, the Apple Festival chose its queen through a beauty pageant that was a preliminary event for the Miss North Carolina pageant. In 1992, the festival dropped the pageant and began selecting an ambassador through an application and interview process.
Sheryl Gudger-Thompson is working to round up the former queens. “So far we’ve heard from about 12,” she says. “We have one lady from 1941 who was the Harvest Queen which became the Apple Festival, so we’re real excited to have her.”
One of the former queens who plans to be in the parade is Teresa Link, who wore the crown in 1975 and still calls Hendersonville home.
“During my year, I met so many nice folks, some of whom I still see since I am a hometown girl,” she says. “One highlight was meeting Ronnie Milsap just as he was beginning his successful career in country music.”
Nicholson says the festival is shaping up to be a good one. The street fair is full with approximately 30 percent of the booth spaces going to new vendors. Headline entertainment will consist of the Buddy K Big Band on Friday night; the Caribbean Cowboys and the Mighty Kicks on Saturday night; and Still Cruzin’ and the Legacy on Sunday night.