Cherry Blossom patrons turn out for last day of festival

awoolen@macon.comMarch 30, 2014 

Sales weren’t the only things brisk at the Cherry Blossom Festival’s Mulberry Street Arts and Crafts Festival on Sunday morning.

The talk of the vendors was the pop-up tents that went flying in the stiff breeze around 8 a.m.

Jo Bolt, who had two spaces on Mulberry Street across from Michael’s on Mulberry, said she had to buy three new tents. The tent containing glass, geraniums and air plants flipped into her other tent housing skirts, which then hit the tent next to it, bending its poles.

“We’re doing our best,” Bolt said as she worked from inside the broken second tent with her colorful patterned designs. As shoppers walked by, she told them, “We’re having a disaster sale.”

Despite the strong winds, Mulberry Street Arts and Crafts Festival vendors said overall that crowds were steady and sales were good.

“People are still buying stuff,” said Tina Miller, of T&M Holistics, who decided to operate without a tent after it flew several yards away from her vendor space.

An hour after the craft fair opened at 10 a.m., shoppers were braving the winds as they pushed babies in strollers and talked with vendors.

Sisters Janet Molony, from Cincinnati, and Irene Saunders, of Macon, were attending their 21st Cherry Blossom Festival.

“I’ve seen just about everything,” said Molony, who attended the opening ceremony and has gone to most of the free events throughout the festival.

After the crafts fair, Molony said, she planned go around the city and take photos of the blossoms.

“They’re just absolutely gorgeous,” she said. “This year they are outstanding.”

Later that evening, families sat under cherry blossom trees eating dinner at Wesleyan College for Party on the Green.

Nancy Moore, who lives just down from the college on Tucker Road, said she came to get out in the sunshine.

“It’s just a beautiful campus,” she said.

Paul and Alice Williams brought their pink poodle, Blossom, for a visit to the party that featured a concert and fireworks.

“She knows she’s special,” Paul Williams said of his dog after numerous children and adults stopped by to pet her.

One of those was Diane Berkner, who came with her fellow parishioners from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church.

“She looks like cotton candy,” said Berkner.

Dona Nicholas Cox was visiting from Virginia.

The 101-year-old has been coming to the Cherry Blossom Festival for years.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Cox said.

As the sun started to set on the 2014 festival, people were still filing in for the extended hours at Central City Park, which stayed open an extra three hours until 9 p.m.

“It was busy,” said festival media contact Sara Rios of the people enjoying one last day of rides. “Even with the weather, we’ve had a great turnout.

Though Sunday marked the last day of daily Cherry Blossom Festival events, the official Tunes & Balloons Fireworks Finale is Saturday starting at 4 p.m. at Middle Georgia State College. Tickets are $5, and children younger than 6 are free.

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