Grand Marshal for 86th Apple Blossom Festival Announced
WINCHESTER -- Scotty McCreery is the grand marshal of the 86th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. It was announced this morning at National Fruit, the sponsor who selected the country music singer to lead the spring event from April 26 to May 5. He is an American Idol winner from Garner, N.C.
“American Idol” Winner, Scotty McCreery, to Serve as One of Festival’s Youngest Grand Marshals
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Lou Ann Thompson, is very pleased to announce that 2011 “American Idol” winner, Scotty McCreery, has been chosen to serve as the Grand Marshal of the 86th Celebration of the Blooms! The baby-faced singer with the big voice, only 20 years of age, will certainly be one of the youngest [if not the youngest] Grand Marshals in the long history of the Festival. The Festival is proud to have another opportunity to show that, when taken as a whole, Festival “Stars” create an amazing galaxy of races, backgrounds, ages and talents. Scotty McCreery makes a fine, young addition to that firmament!
Country music superstar, Scotty McCreery, has had a blindingly rapid rise to stardom since he became “American Idol’s” youngest male winner at age 17, as well as the show’s first country male winner in 2011. The Garner, North Carolina, native quickly emerged as one of Country Music’s most successful new artists after the release of his debut album, Clear As Day. The album topped the Billboard Top 200 and Top Country charts, earning him a spot in the Guinness World Records Book for being the youngest male in history to score a #1 album on the all-genre chart with a debut release. Clear As Day also garnered the highest sales of any country solo album released that year, held the #1 spot on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for six weeks and earned Platinum status in just three months. The album’s first two singles: “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble with Girls,” were also certified Gold.
The hot streak continued as Scotty went on to win New Artist of the Year at both the 2011 American Country Awards and the 2012 Academy of Country Music Awards. He also picked up the USA Weekend Breakthrough Video of the Year for “The Trouble with Girls” at the 2012 CMT Music Awards. McCreery was ranked #1 on Billboard’s list of Top New Country Artists in 2011 and also ranked #4 on Billboard’s list of “21 Under 21: Music’s Hottest Minors 2012,” for his second consecutive year. His 2012 holiday release: Christmas With Scotty McCreery debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Seasonal Albums chart and was certified Gold in just five weeks. Scotty has toured with Brad Paisley and The Band Perry, and recently launched his first headline tour: the Weekend Roadtrip Tour 2013. In between tour dates and recording his upcoming new album, McCreery also balances college life while pursuing an undergraduate degree at North Carolina State University.
In recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for the Festival to secure major stars for the role of Grand Marshal for more than a few hours in a single day; and, that day, of course, is Saturday, the day of the Grand Feature Parade. In “show business” in the 21st century, it is simply assumed that the appearance fees of major stars cover a visit of a few hours [usually only two] for a meet-and-greet or a concert or a banquet. In 2013, the Festival is grateful for the sponsorship assistance of David and Paige Gum and White House Foods which has made it possible for Scotty McCreery to be in Winchester for the better part of two days. For the general public, this means that Scotty will be available to appear not only in the Grand Feature Parade on Saturday afternoon, May 4th; but also, in the Firefighters’ Parade on Friday evening, May 3rd [at this time, the rest of Scotty’s schedule is still being negotiated]. Over the years, the Festival has often used local “connections” to make contact with major stars; and, the Festival is grateful for the assistance of the Gums in helping to make the necessary connections for securing Scotty’s appearance. Tickets for all Festival events are now on sale at the Festival Souvenir Store and Ticket Outlet at 107 Millwood Avenue, sponsored by the Aikens Group.
See Saturday's Star for a complete story on the next grand marshal.