Everyone will be talking about the “Great Return of Cherry Blossom Festival’s Street Party” in the next few weeks, and for good reason. With a lineup boasting legends like Mavis Staples and George Clinton, plus Oklahoma’s JD McPherson, and our own Chuck Leavell (with the Randall Bramblett Band) and Molly and Me (Molly Stevens grew up in Macon), there will be a great array of artists to suit everyone’s tastes.
But the Cherry Blossom Festival is just the start of all the springtime happenings in Macon. A few days after the festival wraps up, Magnolia Soapbox Derby (April 8) and the return of Second Sunday (April 9) will take place during the same weekend, continuing the run of warm-weather outdoor entertainment.
It’s the weekend that really signals the beginning of my busy season, as Bragg Jam announces its First Wave Lineup of bands at Second Sunday, and we have entered the same brightly-colored, punk themed soapbox derby car in the Magnolia race for a few years now. I’m the lucky board member who gets to drive it down the hill at a breathtakingly slow speed. Because, after all, if you’re not going to be first (which, we’re not), then you might as well ensure that everyone gets a good look at your logo. Because, branding.
The day after the derby, the Bragg Jam crew will be at Coleman Hill Park, with the utterly brilliant jangly garage pop sounds of Atlanta’s Gringo Star, who will be heralding in a new season of Second Sunday, right after I get the privilege of sharing the names of some of the acts that will be playing the Bragg Jam Concert Crawl on July 29.
The festival has been undergoing a few changes in our efforts to expand the weekend. So stay tuned for some pretty exciting announcements that will be coming in the next month or so!
As I’m typing, a handful of the Bragg Jam board members are preparing to head home after a fruitful weekend researching the ins and outs of Savannah Stopover, a longtime festival buddy of ours, which stretches over several days with some lovely exclusive VIP experiences. I find that taking a step back, watching the festivities unfold from an outsider’s perspective, but still with certain knowledge and professional curiosity, is a refreshing way to prepare for the deep dive into event organizing that will ensue in the coming months.
Not to mention, we had the chance to witness a exuberantly energetic performance by Macon ex-pat Floco Torres, with current Maconites DJ Shawty Slim and Charles Davis. The set won some new fans for Floco, plus a little education for the crowd regarding what we’re doing just up the road from The Hostess City.
Leila Regan-Porter is the administrative assistant at the Otis Redding Foundation, the marketing co-chair for Bragg Jam and president of the Main Street Macon board. Follow her on Twitter @theleila.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.