The line formed early along Cotton Avenue in anticipation of a cupcake giveaway that kicked off a week of free, sweet treats at the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Amandas Cakery gave out pink cupcakes Monday to many who then wandered over to Third Street Park to take advantage of ice cream, carriage rides and live music.
We are at Amandas to eat free cupcakes then walk over to Third Street Park, said Sarah Pyles, who was lined up waiting. We like to ride the carriage rides with our kids there,
The cupcakes were only offered Monday but Third Street Park will have ice cream and other activities from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. through Friday.
The weather is beautiful today. I love the ice cream at the festival, said Willie James Marlowe of Macon. Ive been to Cherry Blossom twice before this one. The horse rides, games and activities are my favorites.
Brandee Williams lives in Warner Robins but was enjoying Mondays activities.
The cupcakes brought me out of course, she said. The free food, and its nice to see the community come together and have a good time. Its something positive. Ive probably been to Cherry Blossom four or five times before.
Ann Grantham and Michelle Lenderman were in Third Street Park for the ice cream and music.
I like everything, Lenderman said of the festival. I like the arts and crafts festival, the balloon glow, enjoy Central City Park and all the things down there.
Grantham said she loves the park and the ice cream event.
And the music, Lenderman said. Theres a lot of music going on this week. Theres all kinds of different music too. I like to hear the kids perform and I know some of the churches are having some different musicians and singers.
Here are what others had to say about the opening days of Cherry Blossom and their favorite part of the festival:
* Its like a tradition, Carlissa Johnson of Macon said. My favorite part is probably the parade. Just to see everybody in the parade. I know Ive been to the last six festivals. My son Tristan, hes 10 months and this is his first time.
*Free ice cream and cupcakes are my favorite, said Dusty McAllaster of Macon. I like walking around and meeting people.
* Im here with my daughter who grew up going to Cherry Blossom and part of her family, said Barbara Miller of Macon. We try to do an event a day. We come down to downtown and we thought wed do the cupcake. We always do Cherry Blossom every year.
*I think its just all the city coming out and celebrating, said Julie Johnston of Macon. Theres just an excitement Macon has for Cherry Blossom trees that other towns dont have. I think our kids get more excited about the Cherry Blossom Festival than they do about Christmas. Its a holiday, its an event and they love it. They look forward to it.
- Erica ONeal and Katelyn Armstrong, Center for Collaborative Journalism