Charlie Doane

Charlie Doane will serve as grand marshal for the 2018 Chilhowie Community Apple Festival Parade.

Chilhowie council member Charlie Doane will lead the 2018 Chilhowie Community Apple Festival Parade as grand marshal this year.

The parade takes place Saturday, Sept. 29, at 10 a.m. through downtown Chilhowie featuring bands, floats and more honoring this year’s festival theme of Art, Apples and Agriculture.

Doane is a lifelong resident of Chilhowie, who says he’s honored to work with fellow citizens at keeping his community a great place to call home. Currently in his second term as council member, Doane also served eight years on the county school board and has coached Little League baseball and softball and served as assistant coach for Chilhowie High School baseball and softball. He owned Chilhowie Insurance Agency and is now part-owner of Chilhowie Drug Company. He and his wife, Tamara, have three children and three grandchildren.

Float entries are welcome in the parade and will be judged according to adherence to the festival theme. Categories include Business, Youth, Civic and Religious with cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 to be awarded.

Following the parade on Saturday will be the 66th annual Chilhowie Apple Festival Marching Band Competition, the oldest continuous band festival in Virginia or Tennessee, starting at 2 p.m. in the high school stadium. The event is sponsored by Emory & Henry College, Chilhowie High School and Chilhowie Band Boosters.

Admission to the band competition at the stadium is $5 per person with admission fees going to the band boosters to help with the purchase of uniforms and other band-related expenses.

There will be multiple concession stands with a variety of vendors on both sides of the football field during the band competition.

The festival begins today at Chilhowie High School with pageants starting at 2 p.m. for ladies from Baby Miss to the competition for Miss Apple Festival 2018. The Apple Festival Queen will be crowned at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, in the stadium prior to the band competition. Float winners from the parade will also be announced at this time and location.

Festival events continue on Thursday, Sept. 27, with the farmers market, entering of exhibits at the old high school community center, and the Youth League Football Jamboree at the high school.

Exhibits and vendors open on Friday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Enjoy arts and crafts, a variety of food, apple-butter making, children’s activities and miniature train rides, including a performance of the Chilhowie High School Chorus at 12:30 p.m. at the old high school community center and the Iron Mountain Tractor Club Antique Tractor and Engine Show through Saturday at the Chilhowie Commons Shopping Plaza.

The Chilhowie High School Warriors will take on Virginia High in the annual Apple Festival football game at 7 p.m. in the high school stadium.

Saturday, Sept. 29, features the exhibits and vendors along with the parade and band competition plus a performance from Simplicity Dance Company at the old high school community center immediately following the parade. A cruise-in for vehicles will take place at 4 p.m. in the Chilhowie Commons Shopping Plaza.

Vendors and children’s activities (12:30-5 p.m.) and exhibits (12:30-4 p.m.) will be open on Sunday, Sept. 30, along with a pet show at 2 p.m. at the Little League field behind the old high school community center. Register pets between 12:30 and 1:45 p.m.

The festival was first held in 1953 to honor the community’s bountiful apple business – the second largest apple producing center in the state - and the name changed to Chilhowie Community Apple Festival in 1965 as more and more civic groups got involved. When the apple industry declined in the 1980s due to weather-related crop losses and the loss of family business leaders, the festival continued as a celebration of the community’s history.

Funds raised by the Apple Festival Committee are used to pay for projects that benefit the community. Contributions have been made to the town, to band directors for band trips and uniforms, to Project Graduation, to schools for the purchase of equipment, to Chilhowie Elementary for Williamsburg trips, to the Old High School Renovations Committee, and to fire and rescue squads. The festival shared the cost with the town for the stage at the recreation park and for the street Christmas lights. Prior to each year’s festival, the committee purchases and decorates the town with fall corn, gourds, pumpkins, mums and flags. Santa Claus, Christmas treats, and community-lighted Christmas trees were a festival-sponsored traditions for over 20 years.

Committee members include co-presidents, Becca Wilkinson-Smith and Vickie Wilson; co-vice presidents, LauraEtta Wilkinson and David Blevins; secretary, Janet Clear with assist from Donna Blevins; co-treasurers, Deanie Dimick and Liz Czelusniak; beauty pageant, Karla Campbell; and catalog, Donna Blevins, Liz Czelusniak and LauraEtta Wilkinson.

For more information and a complete schedule, go to

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