The Dogwood Festival is a two week long series of events that celebrate the arrival of spring in Charlottesville. The festival began in 1950 as the Apple Harvest Festival, and in 1958 the name was changed in celebration of the state tree and flower. Its purpose is to showcase Charlottesville as a thriving city and center of commerce. 
The Apple Harvest Festival
The Apple Harvest Festival was designed in 1950 to celebrate Charlottesville's rich apple production while bringing publicity to the city. At this time, the festival was hosted in the fall during the apple harvest.  The festival was financed by Charlottesville Businessmen. Sol Weinberg, the future mayor of Charlottesville, was the first president of the festival. 
Like the current festival, the Apple Harvest Festival consisted of a parade and a carnival, as well as festivities in honor of the Festival's annual Queen.
The centerpeice of the festival is a carnival held in McIntire Park, which may move to a temporary location in future years while construction of the Meadowcreek Parkway and the new Piedmont Family YMCA facility gets underway. ,
The carnival features rides, games, and food, and has been a popular attraction for decades.
The Dogwood Queens
Each year, a Dogwood Queen is announced and she makes an appearance on one of the floats in the parade. When the parade began the Queen was always a model or actress from New York or Washington D.C. that was hired to rein over the festival. However, starting in 1968, the Dogwood Queen was chosen from among the local county princesses. 
The Past Dogwood Queens:
|2010||Kathryn Rachel Scott|
|2008||Delesia Amanda Watson|
|2004||Ashley Ryan O'Keefe|
|1973||Marilyn Kay Harris|
The Apple Harvest Queens
|1956||Martha Dean Chestnut|
Dedication of the Vietnam Memorial
The Dogwood Vietnam Memorial, thought to be the nation's first memorial of this kind, is re-dedicated every year at the last day of the Dogwood Festival in April. This dedication includes placement of new flags, a guest speaker who was a veteran of the Vietnam War, and renditions of "Taps" and "Amazing Grace", as well as a 21-gun salute. Jim Shisler, founder of the memorial and part of the Dogwood Festival Committtee, is responsible for the planning of this event. 
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Web. "The Charlottesville Dogwood Festival", Smith, Elizabeth D. Wood, Google Books, retrieved 18 Nov. 2010.
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- ↑ Web. Dogwood Festival to Remain at McIntire, Won't Move to Mall, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, 18 Mar. 2010, retrieved Web. 19 Mar. 2010.
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