Watch Macon, GA turn pink at the annual International Cherry Blossom Festival
If you always thought that you had to travel to Japan to see the vibrant hues of “sakura” or cherry blossoms, think again. Middle Georgia brings this remarkable visual treat every spring with the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon.
Here is everything you need to know about one of the top 20 annual festivals in the South:
When does Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival happen?
The city of Macon, GA proudly celebrates a festival of cotton-pink petals every spring. As soon as March rolls in, residents of Middle Georgia communities start flocking into “The Heart of Georgia” with cameras in hand as more than 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees across the city come alive in full bloom.
The main event is scheduled between the last week of March and early April. The festival fills a 10-day schedule with fun attractions and activities for all ages.
This year’s International Cherry Blossom Festival is all set to take place from March 27, 2020 to April 5, 2020. Be sure to mark your calendars and be part of this unforgettable Middle Georgia spectacle!
Where in Macon are the festivities held?
One of the best things about the International Cherry Blossom Festival is that you do not have to head to one single place to witness and experience all the fun. While the main event and attractions will be located at 794 Cherry Street, various other activities, performances, and attractions are also scheduled to happen in different locations around the city.
What can people expect from this annual event?
Inspired by a consistent annual theme of “Love, Beauty, and International Friendship,” the International Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of Middle Georgia’s outstanding quality of life, sense of community, and civic pride. Residents from all over the region, as well as tourists visiting from all around the world, come to take part in the 10-day festivities.
To see Macon’s cherry blossoms in their full glory, take a self-guided walking tour through the Cherry Blossom Trail.
The cherry blossoms are on full display whether or not the sun is out. Already picture-perfect daytime attractions, the pink blooms of the Yoshino cherry trees become even more enchanting with city lights strategically placed to showcase their majestic natural beauty.
While the bright pink blooms are the star of the show, however, there are plenty of events and activities to enjoy, most of which are free of charge.
Here is a quick list of things to expect at the International Cherry Blossom Festival:
- Hot-air balloon rides and aircraft shows
- Horse-drawn carriage and vintage car parades
- Fireworks displays
- Live musical performances
- Amusement park rides and games
- Animal and pet exhibitions
- Historic tours
- Pink-colored food and beverages
How did Macon, GA become the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World?
The International Cherry Blossom Festival owes its existence to Macon Realtor and horticulture enthusiast William Fickling, Sr., who just happened to marvel at a unique tree in his backyard one day in 1949.
Despite being utterly captivated by the tree’s pink blooms, Fickling at first did not know what kind of tree was growing on his property. Even his own gardener couldn’t tell him what species the tree was.
It took three years for Fickling to find out what the tree was. While traveling for business in Washington, D.C., he noticed a tree that was exactly like the one he saw in his backyard.
Fickling soon learned that it was, in fact, a Yoshino cherry tree. He also learned that it was a rare species in the South, so he studied how to propagate them. Soon enough he was sharing trees with other residents in Macon, giving them away for free with the simple intention of spreading the trees’ impeccable springtime beauty.
As years passed, Macon residents started taking notice of the growing number of pink cherry trees during the spring. Behind the growing enthusiasm of locals like Carolyn Crayton – who spearheaded a major tree-planting project along Wesleyan Woods, Guerry Drive, and Oxford Road in 1973 – made the springtime spectacle of Yoshino cherry blossoms a beloved feature of local Macon culture.
In 1982, the nonprofit organization Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission initiated the 3-day Cherry Blossom Festival in celebration of the city’s remarkable trees, as well as the man who started it all.
To this day, the Fickling Family Foundation donates thousands of Yoshino cherry trees to residents of Macon-Bibb County.
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Enjoying the festivities at Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival is just one of the many great things you get from living in Warner Robins, GA and other nearby Middle Georgia communities. Want to learn more about the best attractions and things to do in the area? Let the agents at Warner Robins Home Search be your ever-dependable guides.