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Michigan Apple Royalty Attends the Bavarian Festival

Alyson Wendzel – 2011 Michigan Apple Queen

Hello everyone!

On June 12, I traveled to Frankenmuth, Michigan to attend the Bavarian Festival. It was a beautiful day and there were a lot of people of all ages attending the parade. There were also a lot of people in lederhosen and dirndls which would be funny to see on any normal day but not at this festival!

My day started out with an authentic German breakfast at the Bavarian Inn Lodge. Although the food differed a bit from what I am used to for breakfast, I loved it just as much! After that we made our way to the parade route. I met so many different queens from all over such as the blueberry festival queen, the Bavarian Festival Princesses, and even the Bean Queen! I also was able to meet a lot of younger kids who were all very excited to wear Michigan Apple stickers and also to tell me about their love for apples which I was pretty happy to hear.

When I got into the car to start the parade, I was happy to realize that we were behind the band Polka Riot which was perfect musical entertainment for Hillary and me at this German festival.

After the parade, I was able to walk around and get to see more of what the Bavarian Festival was about. I met and talked to a lot of people who had questions such as how did I get to be Michigan Apple Queen and where I was from and even what kind of apples are the best in an apple pie. I even had a chance to polka dance with my grandpa to a live polka band! I don’t know if it was just my love for dancing or my German blood, but I could have polka danced all night! I was especially excited when other people from the festival asked if I would dance with them. It ended up being the perfect ending to a perfect day and it was great to be able to learn a little more about my German heritage and also to represent Michigan Apples!

Hillary Heeren – Michigan Apple Queen Court

Saturday June eleven, I headed east and spent the later part of the day enjoying the local festivities of the Bavarian Festival hosted in Frankenmuth. Some of the highlights were the wonderful German cuisine, the distinctive architecture, and the unique goods the shops had to offer.

On Sunday June twelve, the Bavarian Festival’s Parade was held. I arrived on the parade route a bit early and this allowed me a wonderful opportunity to meet others in the parade and people along the parade route. I was even lucky enough to find several people willing to trade their local pins for a Michigan Apple pin. Of course I was very happy to oblige with their request and thanked them for showing their support for Michigan Apples by proudly wearing their new pin.

As one of the larger parades I have been to, I was still amazed by the amount of people gathered along the parade route. I thoroughly enjoyed being after a polka rock band. At one point the parade came to a halt and the band began to play the chicken dance. I decided to participate while sitting in the car and even got some of the crowd to dance along with me. As the parade began to move again the crowd was in a very festive mood as I heard many boisterous cheers.

After the parade I visited Heritage Park where many people were gathered to watch the girls dressed in their beautiful German attire dancing around the maypole. Again there was polka music filling the air and I was lucky enough to get a partner, a little girl who had her mommy ask “the princess” to dance.

Once in town again I met a couple visiting from Israel, two men from Japan, and a trio from India. I was thrilled for the opportunity to talk about Michigan apples with my new friends from other countries!

Overall the city of Frankenmuth is very charming and the Bavarian Festival was an event I will never forget.