Get glamorous for the Cherry Blossom Festival’s high society events

Center for Collaborative JournalismMarch 15, 2013 

The Cherry Blossom Festival is the highlight of the year for many Maconites. From the carnival food to the concerts, Macon is always happy to paint the town pink. The festival events planned this year include crowd favorites, along with a few new events that are sure to please.

Cherry Blossom Gala

Begins at 8 p.m. Friday at the City Auditorium.

“It’s a really wonderful kick off with lots of great food and decorations,” said Jake Ferro, president and CEO of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Entertainment will be provided by the Swingin’ Medallions, and the whole gala has a French theme, because Macon is celebrating its 40th anniversary with its sister city in France. Mâcon, France, is sending representatives to the gala, and will join local and international dignitaries at the event. Tickets are $62.50 and are available by calling 301-5470.

“Broadway in Bloom”

The cash bar will be open at 6:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Monday at the Armory Ballroom.

The event, a dinner cabaret, features Broadway hits sung by JJ Hobbs. Joining Hobbs is Jim Coleman on piano, and the pair will perform classic songs from composers such as Gershwin, Sondheim and Porter, as well as contemporary songs by Jason Robert Brown. The theme of the program is “Quest.”

“People will recognize some of these songs, and some will be brand new to people,” Hobbs said. She says that the performance is a “pretty even mix between the old and the new,” and will feature some ballads as well as funny songs. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling 301-5470.

“G.R.I.T.S. the Musical”

Three performances: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. March 22 at the Grand Opera House

The show, based on the book by Deborah Ford, is about four women through four generations.

It’s all about being a Southern woman and is a “fabulous musical,” Ferro said.

Tickets are available by calling 301-5470. Also available is a package deal for the show as well the Cherry Blossom Festival Authors Luncheon on Tuesday at Idle Hour Country Club with Ford and authors Karen White and Bill Cummings.

Other events

• Cherry Blossom Fashion Show: The fashion show takes place at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Anderson Conference Center. “The show is one of the highlights of the festival,” Ferro said. “The show is very special this year because it’s featuring a tribute to Neva Fickling.” Models will be wearing some of her gowns, and there will be displays of some of her couture gowns. Tickets are $35 and available by calling 301-5470.

• Dinner and a Jazz Band: 6 p.m. Sunday at Riverside United Methodist Church. Bring some dinner and listen to the First Presbyterian Day School’s jazz ensemble. Dessert will be available for purchase, but event tickets are free.

For more information on these events and many more, go to

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