Activities to keep you in the pink during Cherry Blossom Festival

March 15, 2013 

This year’s Cherry Blossom Festival includes plenty of opportunities to get outside and get active -- enjoying what many hope will be blooming Yoshinos and blue skies.

Macon Mud Run

Begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at Hephzibah Children’s Home, 6601 Zebulon Road.

For people who like to get dirty, the Mud Run is a perfect choice. It is a challenging 5K run with plenty of tricky obstacles, including 4-foot walls, tunnel crawls, slippery hill climbs, pond crossings and, of course, a lot of mud. Racers can participate as individuals or as members of teams, and kids (ages 6-11) have a 1K option called the Mini Mudder. Registration is $45-$60 for the Mud Run, and $15 for the Mini Mudder.

Bed Race and High Heels for the Cure

Bed Race begins at 1 p.m. Saturday on Cherry Street, and High Heels for the Cure follows immediately after at the same location.

Another fun to run event, ironically called the Bed Race, inspires just as much physical activity as teams in two categories -- “Wild ’n’ Wacky” (beginners) and “Fast & Furious” -- strive to build the fastest bed-cart and then race down Cherry Street. Last year’s champions, the Macon-Bibb County Fire Department, will try to keep the championship title by having the fastest time, but there are plenty of contenders seeking to speed past them. Despite the name, this is not an event to sleep through.

Immediately following the Bed Race, men, women and children will all don their fanciest high heels and sometimes unusual costumes for the Heels for the Cure event, presented by Susan G. Komen for the Cure. With Jeff Cox from Fox 24 as the emcee, participants will gather for one very serious purpose: to race one block in 2-inch heels -- or higher! Participants donate $10 for the chance to win a prize, but more importantly, to support the search for a cure for breast cancer.

Lantern Light Tours

Tours offered every half hour from 7:30-9 p.m. March 15-17 and 22-24 at the Ocmulgee National Monument.

Festival attendees looking for a little less speed in their activity should attend the leisurely Ocmulgee National Monument’s Lantern Light Tours. On March 15-17 and 22-24, the park stays open after dark to allow visitors to take a one mile self-guided candlelight tour, giving people the chance to take an unusual look at a place that has housed humankind since the Ice Age. The cost is $5 for visitors ages 13 and older, and free for children 12 and younger.

Other events

• Spring Spirit Stroll: Another walking tour offers a similar chance to travel through time. The Spring Spirit Stroll is a one-hour guided walking tour of historic Riverside Cemetery. The tour presents history through the eyes of “ghosts” who have stories to entertain the living, often laced with insight and wisdom. The $10 tours begin at 5:30 p.m. March 15-24 at the Riverside Cemetery Gate House.

• Cherry Blossom Golf Tournament: The tournament, which has various categories for men, women and juniors, will take place Saturday, Sunday, Thursday and March 23 at Bowden Golf Course. In anticipation of the upcoming tournaments, the course has undergone an upgrade in both its lawn care and its snack bar. “A lot of the people who play in the tournament just usually come and play in this tournament and don’t come back until next March, so the goal is to get these one timers back,” said Nathan Caffarelli, Bowden general manager. Find a breakdown of category times and costs at www.cherryblossom.com and more information at cityofmacon.net.

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