Out & About

Boxing, dancing highlight last days the Cherry Blossom Festival

The fireworks and faceoffs will fly for the final weekend of the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Area dance teams and amateur boxers are set to compete in tournaments and the festival will unofficially wrap up with the Party on the Green.

SHURA NO TOKI BOXING TOURNAMENT

The new two-ring boxing center at Freedom Park will be front and center as amateur boxers compete in this Cherry Blossom Festival first.

“We’re going to do it as an annual event for Cherry Blossom,” said coach Earnest Butts, who runs the boxing program for the Macon-Bibb Parks and Recreation Department. “I think it’s a good thing for the Cherry Blossom Festival.”

He is expecting to run about 20 bouts with boxers ranging in age from as young as 8 to their 30s.

“I will match them up according to age, experience and weight,” Butts said.

The event will start at 1 p.m. Saturday and the park is located at 3301 Roff Ave. Admission is $10 per person for anyone age 6 and older.

STAND DANCE BATTLE COMPETITION

More than 500 dancers from all over the Southeast will converge in Macon to compete for the title of “Cherry Blossom Stand Dance Battle Champion.”

The dancers will be competing on teams in the categories of Captain, Stand and Field Show, according to organizer Terra Gallemore, who is the owner of Macon-based Kali Dance Studio for the Arts.

The stand routines typically involve two teams facing one another as they do alternating routines.

“All those who expect to attend the show will experience non-stop, action-packed dancing that will bring them to their feet,” she said.

The guest judge will be Dianna Williams, who is known as “Miss D” or “Coach D” of the Dancing Dolls, a group featured heavily on the reality-TV show “Bring It!”

The competition begins at 2 p.m. Saturday at Northeast High School, 1646 Upper River Road. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. For more information, call 478-461-7602.

PARTY ON THE GREEN

Though the Cherry Blossom Festival is expanding its calendar to include events beyond the normal 10-day run, Wesleyan College’s large green lawn still will be the site of the unofficial end of the festival.

It’s the old finale,” said Jake Ferro, president and CEO of the festival. “It’s a lot fun; it’s picnic style. People come with blankets, bring food and snacks, lay out their blankets and enjoy the music.”

The green opens at 5 p.m. Sunday and music will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m. There will be performances from Wesleyan students, a local jazz group and Sean VanMeter, Ferro said.

“There will be refreshments served and sold by the Wesleyan College folks,” he said.

For kids, there will be inflatables to play on for a fee, and visits from characters that include Petals the Poodle, the Wesleyan Wolf mascot and Eeyore.

“Then we’ll have a really grand fireworks finale right at dusk,” Ferro said. “It’s a very nice way to complete the 10-day festival for certain people.”

“Other people go down to Central City Park and get one last chance at the stage and all of the amusements and fair food. So there is kind of two finales.”

The event is free and takes place at Wesleyan, which is located at 4760 Forsyth Road.

For more information about any of these events, visit www.cherryblossom.com.

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