Cherry Blossom Festival Celebrates New Developments: Fall Calendar, Endowment Fund

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Cherry Blossom Festival Celebrates New Developments: Fall Calendar, Endowment Fund

Mary Lathem

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The annual Cherry Blossom Festival, a beloved Macon staple that delights visitors from far and wide each spring, will feature two exciting developments this year. The events of the festival have traditionally begun in the months leading up to March, when Macon’s 350,000 beautiful Yoshino cherry trees are in full bloom. However, the festival revealed its first-ever calendar of fall events in a press release on September 8th, to be followed by the release of the spring calendar in January 2015. The additional events will feature a variety of entertainment and will take place during the months of September through November. The first event of the season was #PraiseFest, an outdoor concert held at Washington Park last Saturday. The music was provided by local praise bands and Christian artists, including Grammy-nominated Bishop William Murphy and Stellar Award Winner Isaac Carree.

In addition to the introduction of the fall schedule, the Cherry Blossom Festival has announced the creation of the Cherry Blossom Festival Endowment Fund in an effort to ensure the sustainability of the festival for years to come. Supporters are now able to bequeath cash and valuables to the Fund, which will be handled by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia and will allow the festival to form a stronger foundation and continue to provide quality events to the community. The President of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Jake Ferro, welcomes the addition of the Fund: “We believe that now is the best time to begin this wise investment in the Festival’s future,” stated Ferro, “We are proud to partner with Kathryn Dennis and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, and we are thankful for their support of the Festival.”

The Festival, a joyous time for Macon residents and visitors alike, has grown tremendously since its creation in 1982, expanding from a three-day event to a month long festival full of hundreds of activities for all ages. The festival is now considered to be one of the Top 100 Events in North America, and Macon is recognized as the Cherry Blossom Capitol of the World by Congressional Records.

The next event on the Cherry Blossom Festival calendar, Spirits in the Courtyard, will be held on October 23rd from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at The Blacksmith Shop. This ticketed fundraising event will include a large live and silent auction and the Cherry Blossom Festival Art Reception, as well as plenty of food, drink, and entertainment. Guests are encouraged to dress in pink and black in true Cherry Blossom Festival style. Another upcoming event to look forward to is the Battle of the Bands, a marching band competition held at Henderson Stadium that will feature the bands of Middle Georgia high schools. The competition will be held on November 2nd at 3:00 PM, and a portion of the tickets sold for this event will benefit the participating band programs. For all events, tickets can be purchased online at CherryBlossom.com and at the Cherry Blossom Festival office on Cherry Street.

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