A fan favorite event is being revived for the 35th annual International Cherry Blossom Festival. The Street Party is returning, bringing four musical acts to Macon on April 1.
The board decided to bring back the event, last held five years ago, after hearing feedback from the community, said 2017 board chairwoman Stacy Ingram.
Instead of multiple concerts throughout downtown, this year’s Street Party will rotate artists on one stage at Cotton and Poplar streets, said Cherry Blossom Festival Vice President Stacy Campbell.
The lineup is Nashville songwriting duo Me and Molly; singer-songwriter JD McPherson; soul legend Mavis Staples; and Chuck Leavell, keyboardist with the Rolling Stones and former member of the Allman Brothers Band, who will be performing with the Randall Bramblett Band.
The Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 24-April 2, and updates to Central City Park will be completed before it begins, said 2017 festival Chairman Don Bailey. Exhibits, attractions, rides, concerts, food and vendors can be found at the venue daily during the festival.
“You’ll see an improved Central City Park. With all the renovations done by the city, it’s going to be a lot more family friendly, with walkways, pavilions, modern restrooms, and over $100,000 worth of free entertainment once you get into the park,” Bailey said.
In other festival news, the Cherry Blossom gift shop has a new home in the heart of downtown. Merchandise was previously housed at the festival headquarters at 794 Cherry St.
Travis Jean store owner Jean Bragg offered up her event space at 530 Cherry St. for the sale of festival merchandise this year, Ingram said. The gift shop is accessible and convenient and has space for more products, Bailey said. It will be open during all festival events.
“We strive to honor (the festival’s) mission, which celebrates love, beauty and international friendship,” Bailey said. “This year, we’re going to have Macon, Georgia, the pinkest place on Earth.”
Events & tickets
Visit www.cherryblossom.com for a full lineup of events and to purchase tickets, which go on sale Feb. 15. You can also keep track of events through the Cherry Blossom Festival app, available for iPhone and Android starting March 1.