WINCHESTER — Area residents who own antique convertibles are often asked to use their cars to chauffeur celebrities and special guests in the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival‘s Firefighters’ and Grand Feature parades. The volunteer drivers often go unnoticed, though, because all eyes are on their well-known passengers.
That’s about to change. For the first time, the festival that began in 1924 will issue special pink commemorative license plates to the convertible owners who donate their time and vehicles to usher festival guests through the streets of Winchester during Saturday’s Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade.
According to a media release, the license plates will be affixed to the convertibles so parade viewers are aware of the car owners’ volunteer service.
The plates are being made possible thanks to sponsorship from Access Independence Inc., a nonprofit at 324 Hope Drive in Winchester that provides products and services to people with disabilities so they can be as active and self-sufficient as possible.
Access Independence Executive Director Charles Harbaugh IV is the one who came up with the idea for the commemorative license plates, which his organization plans to continue sponsoring at festival parades in the future.
“We are thrilled to help the festival in any way possible, and we thought this was a cool, fun idea to thank those who donate their time and car to be entered in the parade,” Harbaugh said in the release. “It’s a lot to ask for people with antique cars to use their vehicle, rain or shine, and we are very thankful for them.”
“When Charles approached me with the idea of the official car license plates for the GloFiber Grand Feature Parade, I recall getting goosebumps and smiling as I responded with an immediate ‘yes,’” festival Executive Director Brad Veach said in the media release. “Working with other nonprofit organizations is important to the festival, and we are grateful and pleased to partner with Access Independence Inc. to start a new festival tradition with the official car license plates.”
The 95th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival is currently underway. The centerpiece of the event will be Saturday’s Grand Feature Parade from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in downtown Winchester, which is expected to feature celebrity guests including Grand Marshal Terry Bradshaw, Firefighters’ Marshal Dean Cain, Sports Marshal Julius “Dr. J” Erving, NFL Hall of Fame inductee Tony Dorsett and more.
To learn more about the festival, visit thebloom.com. Information about Access Independence is available at accessindependence.org.
Nevermind great job to Charles for the idea and donation.
So that is the reason they keep raising prices on everything? I mean if you cry you are broke. Stop wasting money on stuff that is not all that necessary.
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