Sunny skies expected to greet Cherry Blossom Festival goers Sunday

Telegraph/CCJ WritersMarch 29, 2014 

Sunny skies with a high near 68 are expected Sunday for the Cherry Blossom Festival, according to the National Weather Service at Peachtree City.

The Pink Pancake Breakfast is from 7-10 a.m. Sunday. It was rescheduled because of the threat of rain that closed festival activities at Central City Park at 5 p.m. Friday.

Hours for festival activities at Central City Park have been extended Sunday night. The park will open at 11:30 a.m. and close at 9 p.m., instead of closing at 6 p.m.

In addition, Spring Spirit Strolls at Riverside Cemetery are expected to resume Sunday night.

“With the sun out, everything will be good to go,” said Sarah Rios, Cherry Blossom Festival media contact.

Festival-goers on Saturday enjoyed a mostly dry day, with an early-evening downpour short-lived.

More than 20 artists were on hand later Saturday night in downtown Macon in varied locations for the inaugural Cherry Blossom Music Festival.

“It’s been a great festival so far,” Rios said.

Arts and Crafts Festival

On Saturday morning, Erica O’Neal, a student writer at the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University, caught up with vendors and customers at the Mulberry Street Arts & Crafts Festival.

Among them were Bill and Bridget Knowles, along with their son, Teddy, of Macon.

“It’s an annual event for us,” Bill Knowles said. “We’ve done it for probably 10 or 12 years. This is our favorite part of the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Arts & Crafts Festival.”

Carol Barrett, of Atlanta, drove down to meet her brother and his wife from Birmingham, Ala., at the festival.

“I haven’t been to the festival before, but I’ve heard about it,” Barrett said. “Oh, I don’t know what’s my favorite. There’s so many nice things. ... I haven’t picked one out yet.”

Vendor Mike Church, of MC Woodturnings, hails from Greenville, S.C. He’s been a carpenter for about 15 years.

“I had every tool in the world except for a wood lathe,” Church said. “One day I decided to just go buy one and see what I could do.

“This started out as a hobby and quickly became a big passion. About two years ago, I quit the job I had in a hope to do my woodworking full time,” he said. “It’s not bad ­-- I’m not complaining. Self-gratitude is the biggest part of my job.”

He uses different types of wood from all around the world. He also uses man-made acrylics, which are plastic resins that are man-made. In addition, he uses Corian, which is a countertop material.

This year is the first Cherry Blossom Festival for Church, who hits nearly 50 craft shows a year. Based on a strong crowd Saturday morning, he expects a good weekend.

“I like talking with all the people. ... I get to meet local people in different towns every single weekend,” Church said.

Bob Wilson of BWW Jewelry was selling natural gemstone jewelry.

”All of our stones are natural -- they have no plastic, no glass, no dye,” said Wilson of Carrollton. “They’re rocks in their true color.”

All of the stones are hand-selected from wholesaler warehouses from “all over” -- including North Carolina, Atlanta and Orlando, Fla., he said.

This is his third Cherry Blossom Festival.

“We enjoy the people. It’s a good set-up -- easy to set up and take down. We have a lot of traffic here -- a lot of nice people come through,” he said.

For those planning to attend the festival but who did not purchase advance tickets, passes can be purchased at any participating venue, as well as at Third Street Park. Tickets are $10 for a single venue pass and $20 for a full festival pass. For more information, visit www.cherryblossommusicfestival.com.

Writer Erica O’Neal is a student writer at the Center for Collaborative Journalism. To contact Telegraph writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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