Macon Cherry Blossom Festival

Macon Cherry Blossom Festival

Mid-March
This festival celebrates the blooming (traditional date of full bloom is March 23) of the Yoshino cherry trees in Macon, Ga., which calls itself the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. Cherry trees in Macon date back to 1952, when William A. Fickling discovered a mystery tree on his lawn. It was identified as a Yoshino flowering cherry, a native of Japan. Fickling learned to propagate the trees, and began giving them to the community; today Macon has 170,000 Yoshino cherry trees given by the Fickling family—30 times more than the number in Washington, D.C. The festival honors Fickling, known as "Johnny Cherry seed," and has as its themes love and international friendship.
The 10-day celebration, started in 1982, includes the 10-mile Cherry Blossom Trail, and now offers about 250 activities. Among the events are parades, aircraft displays and fly-ins, a fashion show, fireworks, concerts, a bed race, a lantern-lighting ceremony, and the fire department's Pink Pancake Breakfast. Macon has many antebellum mansions spared by Gen. William T. Sherman on his Civil War march to the sea, so there are several house and garden tours.
The city continues donating trees: about 15,000 are given to area residents for planting each spring.
See also Cherry Blossom Festival
CONTACTS:
Macon Cherry Blossom Festival
794 Cherry St.
Macon, GA 31201
478-751-7429; fax: 478-751-7408
www.cherryblossom.com