April 7-11, 2021
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Apple Festival Activities

The folks in Henderson, North Carolina know how to plan an entertaining weekend! The festivities included runs, a bike tour through the apple orchards, a quilt show, an old fashioned airplanes fly-by, a gem spectacular, and a street fair, and it all culminated in a wonderful parade! All of this was set in the beautiful and quaint town of Henderson, surrounded by the breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains.

Attending the various festivals across our state, including the Watermelon, July Fourth, Rhododendron, and of course the Azalea Festival, has had an unexpected impact on me. I have a much better sense of the beauty, diversity, and strength of our state. All these festivals highlight the depth of our commitment to community. They display our talents and our passions for hard work and for producing something of value. Whether it be a handmade quilt, a polished gem stone, a gorgeous garden, or a delicious apple, North Carolinians take pride in what they produce. They work hard, and then they come together to celebrate the bounty of goodness that thrives in our land. It has been great to become better acquainted with North Carolina!

I especially enjoyed the parade at the Henderson Apple Festival. One reason might be that they handed out the most juicy, crispy delicious apples EVER, but I think maybe there was a deeper reason as well. As I saw the people gather to take their places in the parade, I noticed who they were …. ambulance drivers, firemen, veterans,
Shriners, politicians, and of course the hard-working farmers with their heavy machinery. There also were marching bands and dance troops of young people – teenagers who want to add music and dance to our world. And of course the various princesses – girls like myself who are trying to grow in wisdom and knowledge, and wanting to share the wonder of North Carolina. All these people who stand for good and growth and community were gathered in one place, and they were being cheered on by the multitudes along the road.

In a world where sometimes the wrong things are celebrated, it was great to be in Hendersonville last weekend, celebrating the good, the fun, the beautiful, and the delicious!

Your Azalea Festival Princess,
Tori Mathew