Saturday, May 18, 2024

April Watson Named 2023 Royal Lady


Leavenworth is in her blood!

Our small Alpine village, the gem of the valley, is most certainly an echo of April Watson. She lights up when she speaks about our town, explaining how she feels so honored to live in a place simply everyone seems to love.

She laughed when I asked if she finds it a challenge to put on a Dirndl, the authentic Bavarian dress with the endless number of buttons. “I have worn them for around thirty years; basically, grew up in them”, she explains. She even has an umbrella with an Edelweiss design on it and is ready for all weather conditions once she starts to get rolling with her many parade appearances. She is thrilled to have been selected as the 60th Royal Lady for our local Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival Association. After all, she is part of a family profoundly involved in the festivities.

April’s grandmother-in-law, Pauline Watson; her mother-in- law Nancy Watson, and Aunt Cindy Hassinger, have all been former Royal Ladies. “I treasure how the group of Royal Ladies stick together and help each other out,” she smiles. “They are a team of wonderful women”.

April is all about Leavenworth having lived here most of her life. Elementary school was not easy for April since her family moved between Leavenworth and Snohomish/Marysville a lot, due to her father’s work as a logger.  She mostly went to school in Marysville until moving back to Leavenworth in 1989, which was the summer of her sophomore year. She lived with her aunt and uncle, working at Bavarian Burger Werks, graduating from Cascade High school in 1992, and attended Wenatchee Valley College to get her AA which she received in June of 1995.

April met her husband Lynno Watson, a Leavenworth resident, in October of 92. After he proposed exactly a year later, they were married in June of 1994.  At that time, she was still going to college and working part time for a gift shop in town. The couple had their first son Tyler in 1995. April finished her AA and worked a couple of part time retail jobs. In 1996 she started working for Farmers Insurance here in Leavenworth as a customer service representative.  In 1997 they had their second son Jaxon, and unfortunately lost their caregiver for their boys one year later. Her father-in-law, Lynn Watson, offered her a manager’s position at the family business Alpen Haus Gifts.

Having a flexible work schedule has always been key to April since her priority was raising her two sons, who both now live in Chelan County themselves. Therefore, this was the perfect solution since she could have more flexibility, building her work schedule around the boys’ schedules.  “I was able to be home with them before and after school and be there for them so they could play football, basketball and baseball over the years,” April explains. “I managed the shop for almost 22 years.”  She is now on a new path as a Central WA. Sales Rep. for DandyLines LLC, and also works part time at two shops in town. This surely keeps her love for retail and working in Leavenworth alive. Her involvement with the community is very substantial with the Royal Bavarians. Together with her husband they have traveled all over the Northwest to other festivals supporting the Washington State Autumn Leaf Association and walk and dance in parades with the float and being ambassadors for Leavenworth in the Northwest Festival Hosting circuit. She has also donated her time helping to set up for the hosting weekend for our Washington State Autumn Leaf parade weekend.

April’s hobbies and interests are all about family and community. She delights in traveling and cooking, trying out new recipes. She and Lynno enjoy spending time in Leavenworth, walking downtown listening to live music and enjoying all the great restaurants and shopping our small village has to offer.

April will be a very busy lady, planning to attend various parades between May and September this year. As scheduled, she will be featured in our Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Float for the Apple Blossom parade in Wenatchee; the Lilac Festival Parade in Spokane; New Westminster Hyak Festival Association, B.C.; the Portland Rose Festival in Oregon; the Marysville Strawberry Festival Parade; Cashmere Founders’ Days Parade; Olympia’s Capitol Lakefair; Seattle Seafair; Penticton’s, B.C Peach Festival and of course our local Maifest Procession and the Autumn Leaf Festival Parade in September. She will be escorted to events by her husband, Lynno and her companion and Aunt Cindy Hassinger, former Royal Lady of 2017.



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