Every Spring, Macon turns pink as over 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees bloom throughout the city. To celebrate the beautiful blooms, Macon hosts the International Cherry Blossom Festival each year. The festival is happening March 16 - 25 and it's going to be more vibrant than ever! Here are 4 things you need to know about the pinkest party on Earth.
1.) It's one of Macon's most celebrated traditions.
In 1949, Macon native, William A. Fickling found a unique and unrecognized tree blossoming in his yard. He later discovered it was a Yoshino cherry tree and knew its' beauty had to be shared. The Fickling family freely distributed the trees throughout the city. Nearly 40 years later in 1982, another Macon native, Carolyn Crayton created the Cherry Blossom Festival as a way of celebrating the principles of "love, beauty, and international friendship." Despite its humble beginnings, the festival has become one of the Top 20 Events in the South and Top 100 Events in North America. Learn more about the trees and festival's history here.
2.) It's fun for the entire family.
The 10-day festival includes over 30 events celebrating the cherry trees. See the areas most densely populated with trees on Visit Macon's two-hour Cherry Blossom Riding Trail Tour. Throughout the entire festival, head to Central City Park for the Amusement Ride Midway to ride traditional carnival rides, see live acts, and dine on delicious food. On March 18, attend the free annual parade featuring fantastic floats, live music by local marching bands, and more. Celebrate Easter early on March 24 with an exciting Easter Egg Hunt that includes eggs filled with toys and candy being dropped from helicopters. On March 24 - 25, shop from hundreds of vendors from across the country at the Mulberry Street Arts & Crafts Festival. End the celebration on March 25 with a tethered hot air balloon ride at Wesleyan College and fireworks at Central City Park.
3.) You Can't Miss The Street Party ft. Chaka Khan and The Eli Young Band.
Get your dancing shoes ready for a night of fantastic live music at the Street Party on March 24. ACMA winners, Eli Young Band will have you singing along to their hits like Crazy Girl, Even If It Breaks Your Heart, and Drunk Last Night. With a career spanning five decades, Chaka Khan, known as the Queen of Funk, will wow concert goers with her killers vocals and hits like Ain't Nobody, I'm Every Woman, I Feel For You. You'll also hear incredible performances by David Nail and Booker T. Washington. Get your tickets here. Listen to some of their music below.
4.) It's the perfect reason to visit Macon.
Known for its rich history, incredible architecture, vibrant downtown, and soulful heritage, there's plenty to experience outside of the festival while you're here. Explore over 17,000 years of history (yes really!) at Ocmulgee National Monument. Tour Hay House, lovingly nicknamed "Palace of the South," and see 18,000 square-feet of stunning architecture. Immerse yourself in Macon's musical history on a Rock Candy Tour where you'll learn about Southern music's most infamous players. Follow your nose and dine at one of our many local restaurants offering an array of options from burgers, to tacos, to fine dining, and more. Grab a couple of drinks with friends and listen to live music at one of Macon's music venues and bars. Known as the "Festival Capitol of Georgia," there are annual events & festivals throughout the year that will have you traveling back to Macon in no time.