Parades, Pies and Promotion – An Update from the Michigan Apple Queen
Thus far, I have had a very exciting year as the 2010 Michigan Apple Queen. My year of events began close to home in Frankenmuth Michigan at Zehnder’s annual Snowfest. I got to judge the Michigan Apple Pie Contest, and there is no better way to start the year off than trying to find the best apple pie in Michigan! I saw a lot of familiar faces and tasted a lot of delicious and inventive pies. Each contestant put their own twist on my favorite dessert.
After Snowfest was over, I had a fairly quiet winter. Then, a week before finals, when all my classmates were stuck in Mt. Pleasant feeling the usual pressure of the semester’s end, I was headed to Orlando, Florida to be a part of the American Pie Festival. Before judging even began, I did several interviews, met Willard Scott, and even got to be on the Today Show! I was placed in the commercial division, judging pies that can be purchased in stores and bakeries across the country. I tasted a lot of apple pie, and by the end, I was just about pied-out.
However, it’s a good thing that I saved just enough room for one more slice because I was rewarded with more pie! To thank me for judging, the American Pie Council gave me free admission to the pie festival and a pass to the endless pie buffet. At the festival, held every year in Celebration, Florida, I had a blast walking around and meeting pie makers from around the country and talking to kids. There were of course pie-eating contests, pie speakers and entertainers, and even art stations for all the pie-cassos. I had a wonderful trip!
The weekend after I arrived home from Florida, my court and I kicked off what has been my favorite part of my reign so far with our first parade. The first parade we attended was the Blossomtime parade in St. Joseph, Michigan. Before the parade began, my court and I walked around to look at all the other floats. In the process we met a lot of royalty, young children, and even a clown band. After it was over, we were all ready to do it again. Luckily, we had another parade the following weekend.
The Holland Tulip Festival Parade was on a very cold and windy day. As we were waiting for the parade to start and trying to stay warm, we were greeted with some very exciting news. Our float won the Governor’s Award, the highest award given to the best float in the parade. The streets were lined with excited people braving the cold weather. After it was over, I headed over to the Dutch Market because I just had to try on some wooden shoes. While there, I posed for a lot of pictures, and tasted some great traditional Dutch food.
After Tulip time, there wasn’t another parade until the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival. I was so excited for this one because I live just outside of Frankenmuth. The other girls may have been a little surprised to see all the people dressed festively in their lederhosen and dirndls with steins held high, but for me, it was nothing out of the ordinary. Before the parade, we attended the Bavarian Princess’s Royal Breakfast. We got to talk to all the other royal ladies, and we made a lot of new friends. When it was time for the parade to begin, I was excited to see that our float was lined up right by the Frankenmuth Farmer’s Market. Then shortly before it started, we were awarded the Chamber of Commerce award! During the parade, I saw a ton of familiar faces as friends and family called to me from the crowd and by the end, I had even heard a cheer with my name in it as we passed by a large crowd of friends. Afterwards, as we headed back to where we started, we posed for a lot of pictures. It was a very fun day, and my favorite parade!
Our next stop was Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival. The night before the parade, we attended the coronation ball. It was sad to see queen Angie Sayler end her reign as the National Cherry Queen, but we were very excited to meet the new queen, Maria. During the parade, I was surprised to see a lot of people I knew including my family, a few friends from school, Diane, and even my Pre-Law Advisor. The parade route was very long, but through the entire parade the crowds of people never got smaller. We had a lot of fun, but by the end of it, we were all very hot. So, my court and I went back to the hotel to have some fun on the beach! It was a great weekend!
The next weekend, my court and I attended the Sparta parade. With so many apple growers in the area, we were welcomed very enthusiastically. Because it was a smaller parade, we were closer to the people, which made it a ton of fun.
I have truly enjoyed my year so far, and I look forward to the events that are still to come. I am very grateful for the wonderful people I have met and the great opportunities I have received!