Macon, Ga., is home to one of the biggest cherry blossom festivals in the world. The International Cherry Blossom Festival is spread over 10 days in March and brings the city of Macon to life. Georgia residents can also take advantage of the two-day Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival, which puts a special emphasis on Japanese and other cultures.
History of International Cherry Blossom Festival
William Fickling, a local realtor, noticed a beautiful plant in his backyard in 1949 that would later be known as Macon's first Yoshino cherry tree. He did not know what it was until he saw the same tree in Washington DC three years later. He learned how to propagate the tree and devoted himself to spreading it through the area. Fickling and another woman, Carolyn Crayton, later organized plantings of the tree. Crayton was also the director of the Keep Macon Bibb-Beautiful Commission, and through this organization created the International Cherry Blossom Festival to honor both the tree and Fickling's contributions.
About the Festival
The International Cherry Blossom Festival attracts visitors from around the world. The Street Party offers some of the biggest acts in all genres of music, while the Tunes and Balloons event includes live music, along with a hot air balloon launch. Visitors can enjoy free admission to the International Food Fair that features dishes from around the world, as well as a fashion show that includes celebrity guest models and pink champagne.
Cherry Blossoms in Macon
The International Cherry Blossom Festival is Macon is known as the "Pinkest Part on Earth." Macon, as a city, is noted in the congressional records as the Cherry Blossom capital of the world, as it features more than 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees. The number of cherry trees keeps increasing, as the Fickling Family Foundation donates thousands of trees each year to the city of Macon to help keep its title as the Cherry Blossom Capital secure.
Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival
The Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival is a smaller, but lively affair, that occurs at the Georgia International Horse Park on a weekend late in March. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and includes live entertainment, as well as more than 300 booths. International dance performances help promote understanding of the Japanese culture, as well as other societies around the world. Events include a beauty pageant, German folk music, traditional Japanese dance, line dancing, Latin American dancing, folk and blue grass music, as well as martial arts demonstrations. Admission is free.
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