Cherry Blossom Festival

Get a look and taste of India at 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival ball

Scenes From The 34th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

More than 1,000 participated in the parade on Saturday March 19.
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More than 1,000 participated in the parade on Saturday March 19.

The Bollywood Ball, an event meant to delight both the eyes as well as the tastebuds, is set to take place in the Macon City Auditorium at 7-11 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets went on sale Feb. 15 and as of now, six tables out of 65 are left, said Stacy Moore, president and CEO of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Moore said that each year they have a different committee whose job is to select a country to celebrate for the ball. She said the consul general in Atlanta for each country is also involved in the opening ceremonies in the parade.

This year, however, the ball itself is “Bollywood” themed, according to Moore. She said Kruti, a Bollywood dance group from Atlanta, that has been featured on “America’s Got Talent” and in the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, will deliver a 10 minute performance. There will also be a short program to induct two people into the Cherry Blossom Hall of Fame, and five awards, based on involvement in the festival for last year, will also be given out. After the program, entertainment will be provided Papa So, who will be playing several genres of music.

“I think it is unique,” Moore said about the ball. “There is not another ball or gala in the area that themes theirs like we do. We celebrate the festival in a unique atmosphere and do it with friends and family.”

Canaan Marshall, a floral designer from Macon who decorated for the Emerald Ball last year, will be preparing the auditorium for the Bollywood Ball. He said the primary colors are going to be pink for Cherry Blossom as well as golds, reds and a couple of different, bright, cheerful colors.

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“I love color and giving it different inspiration to our community,” he said. “The lighting is the key to each room and each space for designing; uplighting will enhance that space and that will change the colors of the room.”

Marshall said he is using a variety of flowers including orchids, hydrangeas, roses, huge palm leaves, gold containers, lilies, and tulips as well as orchid wreaths and garlands, which he will put on big umbrellas on top of the tables, and will include candlelight. He said there will be lots of candles everywhere, and the tablecloths will be multiple colors including pinks, greens, blues, and golds.

“We will be bringing in big tents that will be over the bars,” he explained. “They will be very colorful and different textures to enhance the room.”

“This is my third year working with this ball,” he said. “It has been a great pleasure bringing everyone together and bringing them on the same page. I love flowers. I love doing it in my hometown. There’s no place like home.”

William Foshee, owner of Cast Iron Catering, located in Macon at 2696 Ross Ave., is in charge of the catering and cuisine for the evening.

“We are caterers, so we play with everything from barbecue to sushi and all the other fun stuff,” he said. “We did a fuse between American and Mediterranean on the menu to give the best of both worlds, but not too far-fetched for the general public to consume.”

According to Foshee, the simplest food items people may recognize will include Nann, a traditional almost-like pita bread, which will be served with a roasted garlic and herb confit. In addition, quinoa and cranberry salad will be paired with a pistachio and curry crusted lamb chop. For dessert, Foshee said it will be shahi tukra, which is like bread pudding, garnished with candied cherry blossom flowers.

“I’ve been cooking and dabbling in food for more than 15 years,” he said. “What I like about catering is I get to play around on a whole different spectrum of food.”

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The doors will open at 6:30 pm., Moore said, and the ball will begin at 7 p.m. The event is “black tie optional,” but Moore said that even though most people choose to wear a tux, if they don’t own one or aren’t comfortable wearing one, they can still wear a suit and fit in appropriately. The ball will have a cash bar. Reservations are required; individual tickets are available at cherryblossom.com Ticket prices are $75 for an individual or $600 for a table that seats eight people.

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