Apple blossom grand marshals are relatives of founder, and will travel from New Zealand

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Susan Wagner

The great-grandchildren of the founder of the Apple Blossom Festival will be the grand marshals of this year’s festival, the 100th celebration of the annual event.

The Washington State Apple Blossom Festival will bring the descendants of Susan Wagner all the way from New Zealand for the honor. They are Mark Farnham and David and Diane Wright. GEICO insurance will be paying for their flights, said Darci Christoferson, festival administrator.

They will be in town for five days, attending the All Service Club luncheon, the festival Ball and the Stemilt Growers Grand Parade.

“I am sure that Grannie Sue is up there somewhere, proud to see that 100 years of her idea is now the grand festival that it is today, said David Wright.

Susan Wagner was the wife of the district’s first apple shipper and a native of New Zealand. She suggested the festival, then called Blossom Days.”

It started as a one-day event in Memorial Park with songs, speeches, Maypoles and baseball. It is the second-oldest festival in Washington, behind only Sequim Irrigation Days.