Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off with ribbon cutting ceremony

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— The Cherry Blossom Festival is back after the pandemic canceled it last year. Organizers say this is the one you don’t want to miss.

Governor Brian Kemp was in town to help kick off the festival with an opening ceremony and ribbon cutting. He spoke during the ceremony about the hardship the pandemic caused over the last year.

Kemp says he’s grateful the festival is able to go on this year because of the economic impact not only on the city but the state as well.

“Even more so than that, especially this year it also brings a sign of great hope and sense of optimism that many of us have not seen over the last one year,” says Governor Kemp.

Cherry Blossom Festival Chair, Ivan Allen, says he could not be more excited to welcome everyone back this year after postponing last year.

“Here we are able to do this festival in a safe environment, where we’ll keep everybody having fun and we’re allowing families to make memories.”

During the opening ceremony, Mayor Lester Miller proclaimed the renaming of Central City Park to Carolyn Clayton Park. Mayor Miller tells us how he feels to have the festival back.

“We’re just excited, we missed last year and it was very very heartbreaking but we need some sense of normalcy,” says Mayor Miller. “Something to be excited about in Macon-Bibb County and the Cherry Blossom pretty much says it all.”

Mayor Miller says some events changed to accommodate pandemic protocols but that shows the resiliency of the community.

“We decided we were going to have this event no matter what and make sure everybody is safe of course and follow the Governor’s order but we wanted to have this event,” Mayor Miller explained. “It means a lot to people, it’s a sigh of relief is what I would say at this point in time after all the hard work and seeing it come to fruition.”

We also spoke with Carolyn ‘Bird Lady’ Freeman. She says she’s so happy to be back at the Pinkest Party on Earth. She told us why she loves coming to the festival.

“It brings everybody together. We get to get really good food and gain 5 or 10 pounds every year, even though we’ve already gained 50 pounds of corona fat,” says Freeman. “we’re going to get fatter.”

Allen says it means the world that they were able to pull together to put on the festival in a safe way. He tells us people can expect the festival staples of food, fun, and entertainment.

“We’ve got something for everyone this is going to be the festival yet,” says Allen.

Cherry Blossom Festival Activities

  • The 10-day festival happens at Carolyn Crayton Park from March 19 to March 28
    • It features amusement rides, food vendors, shows, exhibits, and free nightly concerts
  • Other festivities happen at 3rd Street Park from March 22 to March 26
  • Food Truck Frenzy — March 27 and March 28 on Third Street and Cherry Street
  • Tunes & Balloons — March 28 at Middle Georgia State University
  • For more information and events, visit the Cherry Blossom Festival website
    • You can also download the Cherry Blossom Festival app
Categories: Bibb County, Business, Cherry Blossom Festival, Featured, Local News

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