Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival

The 2021 International Cherry Blossom Festival returned this year after being canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020. The festival started on March 19 and ends on March 28. 

According to an article in the Macon Telegraph, the festival produces millions of dollars for Macon’s economy. The 2020 festival would have been the 39th annual event. The festival began in 1982. 

While it’s hard to see the smiles of people wearing face masks because of COVID-19 guidelines, their laughter and joy could be heard throughout the Cherry Blossom Festival’s activities. 

 The Cherry Blossom Festival concessions and vendors are at Carolyn Crayton Park. The address is 115 Willie Smokie Glover Dr., Macon, Ga. 31201. 

The festival features concessions like turkey legs, cinnamon rolls, tornado fries, burritos, and plenty of other food options. 

“My favorite fair food is pizza,” said 4-year-old Kory Williams while eating a slice of pizza. 

According to the website, face masks are required unless you are eating and drinking. There are mandatory temperature checks when entering the park. The festival has also increased handwashing stations around the park and socially distancing guidelines are being followed to the best of the park’s ability.

For example, in front of the live music stage, seats are in groups three to four and are six feet apart. 

“The distancing rules they have are okay. It’s good being back outside,” said Awilliam Brown while at the front of the live music stage. 

“Everyone is out and having a good time, it’s beautiful out here.” said festival vendor, Madison Vernon. 

The website also said this year’s festival will have events like Jurassic Kingdom, Aquatic Acrobatics, a parade, and plenty of other activities for all ages to enjoy. 

The Jurassic Kingdom show consisted of animatronic dinosaurs like a baby Triceratops and a T-Rex. The performers also told the crowd dinosaur facts and showed the fossils like those of a megalodon. People in the crowd even got to touch and take pictures with the dinosaurs. 

The International Cherry Blossom Festival website says the festival celebrates when Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki gifted the city of Washington DC 3,000 cherry trees in 1912. The cherry trees symbolize the enduring friendship between the US and Japan. 

The Macon Cherry Blossom Festival website says that Macon now has over 350,000 cherry trees. Congressional records now refer to Macon as the cherry blossom capital of the world. The first Macon cherry tree was discovered in 1949 by William A. Fickling who had a large hand in growing and spreading the cherry trees around the city. 

The festival now one of the Top 20 events in the South, Top 50 events in the U.S., and Top 100 events in North America.