Macon, Georgia is regarded as “Where Soul Lives”, having a noteworthy rock & roll history. But this Southern city that is steeped in history and historic sites is also the cherry blossom capital of the world. Yes, the world!
At last count, over 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees bloom in the Spring to give Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual award-winning event, a beautiful backdrop and dynamic claim to fame. In comparison, our nation’s capital has under 4,000 trees.
The entire city of Macon, along with thousands of visitors gather to partake in the anticipated annual event.
The Pinkest Party on Earth
2018’s Cherry Blossom Festival is taking place March 16th to 25th. For 10 days, Macon plays host to a multitude of events, some cherry blossom-related, some not, for a gathering celebrating the birth of spring. They call it the “Pinkest party on Earth” and rightfully so; everything is the color pink in some way, shape, or form. Even the center lines in the roads and water fountains are pink!
Locals walk their dyed-pink dogs. Doors are decorated with bright pink wreaths. Men and women don pink clothing, some you would swear survived Easter in the 70’s and the Gong Show. Others go for the more outrageous, the better, while conservative festival-goers opt for toned down pink attire. Cars are custom painted with cherry blossoms and cherry blossom branches, live and synthetic, decorate every surface. It is great fun and a perfect reason to visit Macon for a road trip or weekend getaway during this one-of-a-kind event.
What to Expect at Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival
The Festival was created in 1982 as an effort of the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission. The committee built the festival on the principles of “love, beauty, and international friendship”.
Events range from a ticketed Pink Pancake breakfast, food truck frenzy, Duck Dash, fashion show, to a balloon fest, air show, pageants, and bed races. Mulberry Street becomes a shopper’s paradise with arts and crafts made from vendors across the nation. Nightly concerts are offered at Central City Park, while the daylight hours allow for amusement-style rides, shows, and more. A delightful black-tie gala, the Emerald Ball, requires a ticket but is well-worth the splurge.
The 2018 ball will be held at the Macon City Auditorium and offers a delicious dinner(grilled chicken, garlic chive mashed potatoes, Cherry Blossom cheesecake) and dancing. Last year’s event featured the Matsuriza drummers from Epcot’s Japanese Pavilion (Walt Disney World) and great music all evening long. A cash bar was available but not included with the admission.
A colorful parade features the lovely ladies of the Cherry Blossom Royal Court (one queen and four princesses). The highly anticipated ceremonial Lantern Lighting in Third Street Park includes the festival dignitaries. Of course, any great celebration would have fireworks and the ones here in Macon are stellar. My favorite is that for a limited time, you can get pink Krispy Kreme donuts! Where else can you get one?
Other Things to Do in Macon
- Pay homage to Southern rock’s famous Allman Brothers at the Big House Museum
- Drive the Cherry Blossom Trail to see the delicate pink blooms in full force
- Take a horse-drawn carriage ride to take in all of the sites and pink
- Increase your knowledge at the Tubman Museum
- Visit the Ocmulgee National Monument
- Take a walking Rock Candy Walking Tour to learn about the famous musicians that came from or through Macon
- Tour the historic Hay and Cannonball Houses
- Explore antebellum mansions
Prepare for the Pinkest Party on Earth
Macon’s Southern charm and colorful Cherry Blossom extravaganza will wow you and certainly provide a fun time.
For more about Macon, click here.