Pink and green is popping up throughout Winchester as the city gears up for the 86th annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. The Winchester Police Department’s entire force will be providing security for the festival and will be assisted by a number of agencies. We would like to thank the Virginia Defense Force, the Winchester Sheriff’s Office, Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center, Mount Weather Police, the FBI, Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Forces, Winchester Emergency Communications Center, Emergency Management Coordinator Lynn Miller, and civilian employees with the Winchester Police Department. This year as in past years, we are calling on the public to help be the eyes and ears of law enforcement. The public is asked to:
- Be vigilant of their surroundings
- Report any suspicious activity
- Keep their belongings with them at all times
We encourage you to leave bags and coolers at home. If an item is left unattended it will be confiscated.
Apple Blossom 2013
The detour route goes into effect on Friday, May 3rd at 3:30 p.m. and will remain in effect until the end of the Firefighter’s Parade around 8:30 p.m.
On Saturday, May 4th the route goes into effect at 8 a.m. until the end of the Grand Feature Parade around 7 p.m.
You can find maps, detours, and parking information on the City of Winchester’s website, www.winchesterva.gov.
We strongly encourage anyone who is not attending a festival event to utilize alternate routes:
Interstate 81 and Routes 37, 50, 7, and 522. Drivers in the City of Winchester should expect heavy congestion and delays. We ask for the public’s patience and cooperation with traffic changes.
No parking signs will be posted on Thursday, May 2nd. The parking restrictions go into effect and are strictly enforced beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 3rd and continuing until 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 4th. There are no exceptions to these restrictions, even for residents. We will attempt to locate the owner of a vehicle that is not following parking restrictions to avoid towing. If we are unable to locate the owner the vehicle will be ticketed and towed. If your vehicle has been towed, you will need to contact the Winchester Police Department non-emergency number at 540-662-4131 to find out where to pick up your vehicle. Various towing companies will be utilized to assist in their enforcement.
Parking for the Wine Festival will be available in the George Washington and Court Square Autoparks.
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.
Animals are prohibited in festival areas during specified events. Please refer to Section 5-15 of the Winchester City Code.
Each year children are separated from their parents during the festival. Parents and guardians are asked to carry a picture of their children with them and to also know what their children are wearing to assist in locating them if they become lost. Inform your children that if they become lost to go to a uniformed police officer for help. If you need to report a lost child, call the Winchester Police Department non-emergency number at 540-662-4131.
Persons attending any festival event on public streets or grounds are prohibited from consuming alcoholic beverages or being in possession of an open container. Consumption of alcoholic beverages of persons 21 years and older is allowed at some festival events within approved areas and restaurants where state licenses have been obtained. Officers will be actively enforcing laws pertaining to open containers and drunk in public. If you plan to drink, remember to drink responsibly and designate a sober driver before you leave home.
The festival generates about 150 tons of trash. That’s the same amount as weekly trash pickup on the city’s north-side. The Public Works team put together 1,900 trash boxes that will be used at the festival. There will be recycling containers at some of the events; however, residents are encouraged to take items home that can be recycled. Residents whose regular trash pickup is on Fridays should place trashcans by the curb Thursday night. The trash will be picked up early Friday morning.
If anyone has questions regarding street closures, parking, and detour routes, the Winchester Volunteers in Policing will be available by phone Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon to answer questions. The numbers are 540-545-4737 and 540-545-4738. We strongly encourage the use of these numbers over the non-emergency telephone number due to the number of calls received by our Emergency Communications Center. Please refrain from using 911 unless you have an emergency.
We wish everyone a safe and happy Bloom!
This press release was prepared by Lauren Cummings, Police Community Relations/Crime Prevention Specialist. (540) 545-7548 (office) email@example.com