Festival coverage, all day and every day, only from Macon.com and the Telegraph
For the latest news and happenings during the festival, visit Macon.com and read the Telegraph. Our daily coverage on Macon.com will feature video, photos and more. Well bring you the sights and sounds from dozens of festival events. Pick up the Telegraph every morning for a look at the previous day and a preview of upcoming coverage.
How it all began
Macons Cherry Blossom Festival was first organized to celebrate the citys Yoshino cherry trees and the March 23 birthday of the late William A. Fickling Sr. In 1949, Fickling discovered the first such tree in Macon, although he didnt know what kind of tree it was at the time. He learned how to propagate the Yoshinos and began sharing them with the community. As the years passed, the number of Macons Yoshino cherry trees grew quickly, attracting the attention of longtime residents and newcomers alike. One particular admirer struck by their beauty was Carolyn Crayton, who proposed launching a Cherry Blossom Festival to honor Fickling and to showcase the beauty of the trees. It began with 30 events and about 30,000 trees.
Cherry Blossom Festival Headquarters, 794 Cherry St. Open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. (478) 751-7429.
Central City Park Information Booth, Cherry Market, Building No. 13. Opens at 11 a.m. Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. Sundays.
Cherry Blossom Festival Souvenir Shop, 652 Mulberry St. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. (478) 741-3883.
Macon-Bibb County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 450 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. (800) 768-3401. maconga.org.
Cherry Blossom Festival official souvenirs, the Library Ballroom, 652 Mulberry St. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily during the festival. 741-3883.
About the trees
The cherry trees in Washington, D.C., may draw more attention, but word of Macons beauty during March has spread far and wide during the years. Macon was designated the Cherry Blossom Capital of the United States in the 1983 Congressional Record by former U.S. Rep. J. Roy Roland. Later, the Japanese consul general named Macon the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. The festival is routinely featured in national publications and travel guides. Estimates of the number of trees in the city range from 275,000 to more than 300,000. The trees blooms dont always coincide with the festival, or course. But when they burst forth, they provide breathtaking beauty.