The Bloom is an annual event organized by the private Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival organization and held in the City of Winchester and Frederick County. Attracting crowds in excess of 250,000 people, the festival includes over 30 events such as the Old Town Wine & Fine Arts Festival, Apple Blossom Carnival, dances, parades, band concerts, luncheons, parties and much more.
Although the City of Winchester local government does not organize this event, several City departments are involved in making sure festival activities are permitted and safe.
City's 2017 Apple Blossom Week Schedule:
- City Offices - Most City offices will close at noon on Friday, May 5. To make a bill payment (personal property taxes, real estate taxes & utility bills), please visit the City's pay online web page, or place your payment in the black box outside Rouss City Hall.
- War Memorial Building - The War Memorial Building will close early (3:00 pm) on Friday and will be closed all day on Saturday, May 6 and Sunday, May 7.
- Joint Judicial Center (courts) - Closed all day on Friday, May 5.
- WinTran - Public transit service will be closed on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6. Regular operations will resume on Monday, May 8 at 6:00 am.
- Refuse Collection - Refuse and recycling collection will operate on normal schedule, except Friday’s refuse will be collected early. Residents and businesses that normally have their refuse collected on Fridays are encouraged to put their refuse out Thursday evening or before 5 am on Friday.
- Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center - The Visitors Center located at 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Road will be open every day from 9:00 am-5:00 pm.
2017 Festival Event Information
TheBloom.com is the official Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival website. If you are looking for information about Festival events, history, news, merchandise, etc., visit TheBloom.com for all of the details.
Road Closures and Detours
Friday, May 5
- Firefighters' Parade - Route will close at 4 pm until approx. 8:30 pm. Cameron Street from Gerrard Street to Wyck Street will close at noon for parade line-up.
- Kids Bloomin' Mile - Handley Boulevard will close at 1:30 pm. The route closes at 3:15 pm. Race begins at 4 pm and ends at 5:30 pm. Course begins and ends on Handley Blvd in front of the Grandstand and wraps around the JHHS campus.
Saturday, May 6
- 10K Race & Grand Feature Parade - Routes will close to all traffic at 8 am and will remain in effect until the end of the parade at approx. 7 pm. NO EXCEPTIONS.
|May 4-6||Piccadilly||Cameron||Braddock||6 pm TH-Midnight SA||Apple Blossom Festival Midway|
|May 5||Cameron||Gerrard||Wyck||Noon-8:30 pm||Firefighters' Parade Line Up|
|May 5||Firefighters' Parade route (map)||4-8:30 pm||Firefighters' Parade|
|May 5||Handley Blvd||Braddock||JHHS||1:30 pm-5:30 pm||Kids Bloomin' Mile|
|May 5||Valley Ave||Handley Blvd||Jefferson||3:15 pm-5:30 pm||Kids Bloomin' Mile|
|May 6||Braddock||Valley Ave||Fairfax||8 am-10:30 am||10K race|
|Jubal Early||Valley Ave||Loudoun|
|May 6||Grand Feature Parade route (map)||8 am-7 pm|
Bag Checks/Prohibited Items
Safety is a priority during The Bloom and bags will be checked at the entrances into a number of events including (but not limited to):
- Bloomin' Wine Fest
- All tent events
- Queens Coronation
- Weekend in the Park
The following items are prohibited at the above mentioned events:
- Backpacks/large bags (14x9)
- Alcohol and illegal drugs
- Weapons/knives of any kind
- Any item that could be used as or construed to be a weapon
- Food, snacks, beverages or coolers
- Animals (except for service)
- Aerosol/spray cans
The Winchester Police Department strongly recommends that guests do not bring bags, backpacks, handbags or purses to events unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. Diaper bags that have necessary items for small children are permitted.
Medical Aid Stations
A Medical Aid Station is located at the end of the parade route near the McDonald's restaurant at the intersection of Gerrard and Cameron Streets, plus other emergency units are located near the parade routes. If you need medical attention and cannot get to the emergency station or units on your own, dial 9-1-1 for emergency service.
Parade line-up routes and traffic detours create changes to on-street parking areas close to all of the events. Do not park on streets marked "Closed to Parking" - pay close attention to parking restriction signs or your vehicle will be towed. If your vehicle does get towed, contact the City's non-emergency assistance line at (540) 662-4131 to get its location.
Parking in Old Town
With all of the street closings and parking restrictions, the parking garages are the best alternative. All four downtown garages are one block from the parade route or the Midway. Purchase reserved parking in a garage on either May 5 or 6 for $15 per day (cash or check). Stop by the George Washington Autopark to purchase a reserved parking ticket. If space is still available on Friday or Saturday, you can park in the garages for $15 (CASH ONLY).
Friday, May 5:
Garages will be open from 10 am to midnight.
Saturday, May 6:
Garages will open at 8 am and will not have a set closing time.
- Handicapped parking is available at each Apple Blossom sponsored event. We recommend that residents utilize downtown parking garages for the Grand Feature Parade.
- Handicapped parking for Weekend in the Park will be available in front of the War Memorial Building.
- Do not park on streets that are closed to parking.
Pets are not permitted inside Shenandoah Apple Blossom ticketed events.
Pets are also not allowed to enter the Loudoun Street Mall area during Apple Blossom events on Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6. The prohibited area is defined as the area north of Cork Street, south of Fairfax Lane, east of Braddock Street and west of Cameron Street inclusive of the named streets. This is for the pets’ safety as well as the safety of the festival attendees. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
The dates and restrictions are: Noon on Friday, May 5 to 6 pm on Saturday, May 6. Permitted animals include: (1) service animals, (2) vendors that have obtained written authorization from the Chief of Police, and (3) residents living within the designated area can to walk their animals to and from their residence but may be required to show proof of residency while walking their animals through designated areas.
The Winchester Police Department will be utilizing the Apple Blossom Festival’s Smartphone App to keep local residents and festival attendees informed about emergency situations including traffic hazards and areas to avoid. Those who sign up will be notified through push notifications. Download the app today and remember to activate notifications so you can stay informed.
Safety Tips and Important Numbers
- Information Resource Center - Street closings, detour routes, etc.
- (540) 545-4737 or (540) 545-4738
- May 4-5, 8 am-5 pm
- May 6, 8 am-Noon
- Winchester Police (non-emergency) - Lost children, towed vehicles, etc.
- (540) 662-4131
- Downtown parking garages - To reserve parking in garages (while supplies last)
- (540) 722-7575
- Emergencies only