UPDATE: Food Truck Frenzy canceled, Mulberry Arts and Crafts moving to Farmers Market

lfabian@macon.comMarch 22, 2013 

Cherry Blossom Festival organizers, determined not to watch money wash away with the expected weekend rain, are shifting several key events.

The Food Truck Frenzy is cancelled, and the Middle Georgia Art Association will be moving its arts and crafts festival from Mulberry Street to the farmers market on Eisenhower Parkway near Macon Mall.

The arts and crafts event is Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

“This way we’ll all have booths under the sheds in case it rains,” said local artist Mark Ballard, who will be selling his cookbooks, T-shirts and artwork.

Mae Thurston, president of the Middle Georgia Art Association, said officials deliberated much of Thursday and early Friday before reaching a decision to move the popular event.

About 240 vendors were signed up, but some were dropping out for fear their would be no backup plan for rain.

“It’s going to be a tight fit, but our vendors can’t afford to have a washout,” Thurston said.

The organizer of the companion Food Truck Frenzy has decided the rain will limit crowds too much to make the event profitable, but has committed to coming to the Cherry Blossom Festival next year, said Lydia Moss, marketing and media representative for the festival.

Meanwhile, organizers are urging people to purchase advance tickets for the first indoor party.

With rain almost a certainty Saturday night, the concert featuring “38 Special” and three other bands has been relocated to the Macon City Auditorium, which has a capacity of 2,688 people.

“We don’t want to turn people away,” Moss said.

Those who already purchased advance tickets for the outdoor venue do not have to purchase or acquire new tickets, Moss said.

“We know how many people bought in advance, and we know how many tickets we have left to sell,” she said.

There will be no seating on the floor of the auditorium, but people will be allowed to sit in the balcony to hear the music, which also features The Dirty Guv’nahs, Atlanta Funk Society and The Wild Feathers.

A tent for food and beverage vendors will be set up on the Cherry Street side of the auditorium that is also bordered by First Street in downtown Macon.

“People can walk from the auditorium to the tent,” Moss said.

With perfect conditions, the street party is one of the festival’s largest money makers with average crowds of about 5,000 people, she said.

Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 through Mercer Ticket sales at (478) 301-5470, at the Grand Opera House on Mulberry Street or at www.cherryblossom.com.

Tickets still available Saturday night can be purchased for $20 at the auditorium, where the doors open at 5 p.m. and the party ends at 11 p.m.

Moss wishes there were a venue available to accommodate everyone.

“We’re just doing the best we can,” she said.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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