International Cherry Blossom Festival
The International Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Macon, Georgia every spring. As Macon is known as the "Cherry Blossom Capital of the World," 300,000[dubious ] Yoshino Cherry Trees bloom around downtown, college campuses, and the neighborhoods of Macon in late March every year. The festival lasts for ten days and features events for people of all ages. The festival is not associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington, D.C.
Yoshino Cherry Trees are not native to the South. William A. Fickling, Sr., a local realtor, discovered the beauty of the Yoshino Cherry Trees in his own yard. During a trip to Washington, D.C. in the year 1952, he discovered a tree that looked identical to the ones growing in his yard. After comparing cut samples from each tree, he discovered that they matched. A new resident to Macon named Carolyn Crayton noticed the trees and thought they were beautiful. She talked to Mr. Fickling about planting more trees throughout Macon. To start the project, Fickling agreed to donate the trees if she would organize the planting. The community planted around 500 Yoshino cherry trees on Saturday, November 24, 1973, with the first trees planted along Wesleyan Woods, Guerry and Oxford Dr. Over the years, the trees became a common sight around the city and grew to become an identifying symbol of the city. Macon celebrated its first International Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring of 1982.
- Mulberry Street Festival - An outdoor fine arts and crafts show held on Mulberry street in downtown, featuring artists from around the nation.
- International Food Fair - Held with the Mulberry Street Festival in downtown Macon, it sells food from traditions around the world. Presented by Mellow Mushroom Macon.
- Cherry Blossom Street Party - Bands and performers of rock, blues, country, and other genres play on several stages set up in downtown at night.
- Cherry Blossom Pageant - a royal court of one queen and four princesses are chosen every year.
- Balloon Fest - Hot Air balloons lift off and fly over Macon at this event.
- Air Show - held every year at the Macon Downtown Airport, it features impressive aerobatic performances by military airplanes.
- Cherry Blossom Parade
- Ocmulgee Lantern Light Tour - A guided twilight walk through the trails of Ocmulgee National Monument.
- Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Finale - picnics, food vendors, live music, fun family activities, and fireworks.
The Macon International Cherry Blossom Festival also often hold animal shows, concerts, theatrical performances, international showcase events, house tours, fashion shows, galas, luncheons, marathons, dances, fair rides, and bus tours along scenic Cherry Blossom trails.
Since 2006 the Macon International Cherry Blossom Festival has produced the Annual Georgia European Union Summit (AGEUS), a gathering of Georgian and international economic development leaders. AGEUS is also the venue at which the Georgia Featured Export Product Awards are presented.
- Jet - Cherry Blossom Festival Queens. 105-15. Johnson Publishing Company. April 12, 2004. p. 64. ISSN 0021-5996.
- The Editors of Chase's, ed. (2009). Chase's calendar of events 2009. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 178. ISBN 0-07-159956-8.
- About the Festival ("As a result, the Cherry Blossom Festival was born in 1982 under the auspices of the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission...")
- The Yoshinos of Macon. Indigo Custom Publishing. 2006. ISBN 0-9770912-9-5.
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