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This weekend's Cherry Blossom Festival highlights

Friday, March 19

Cherry Blossom Festival Ribbon Cutting and Opening Ceremony

Noon, Miller Lite Central City Park. Featuring international, state and local dignitaries celebrating the opening of the 2010 festival. Free.

Sea Lion Splash

2 p.m. and 6 p.m. shows, 8 p.m. playtime, Miller Lite Central City Park. This show is geared around educating the audience on the habits of the sea lions and brings out the inherent comedic behavior of these animals: catching and retrieving objects, balancing, handstands, dancing, singing and interaction with the audience. Free. Presented by Georgia Farm Bureau and State Bank.

Gospel Concert

7 p.m. Grand Opera House. Buses welcome, first come first seated. Free with a 2010 festival pin. Presented by Tom and Linda Lewis, and Jeff Powers, Attorney at Law.

Ocmulgee National Monument Lantern Light Tours

7:30-10 p.m. today-Sunday and March 26-28, 1207 Emery Highway. (478) 752-8257. One-mile walk along the lantern light trail. Ranger-led tours at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Self-guided tours 7:30-10 p.m. $5 adult; free for children 12 and under.

Nightly Concert

8-11 p.m. Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage, Miller Lite Central City Park. Featuring Allman Brothers Tribute Band Midnight Riders. Free. Presented by Pizza Hut.

Diamond Ball

8 p.m. Macon City Auditorium. Dancing, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and music by the Georgia Big Band and Celebration. One lucky guest will be the winner of a one-carat diamond courtesy of Cortes Jewelers. Tickets at www.cherryblossom.com or by calling Mercer Ticket Sales, (478) 301-5470. $50 per person, tables of 10 available; $10 balcony. Presented by Bank of America and Durwood Fincher, Mr. Doubletalk.

Saturday, March 20

Pink Pancake Breakfast

7:30-10:30 a.m. Food Tent, Miller Lite Central City Park. Proceeds benefit American Cancer Society. $5 per plate, free parking. Presented by Macon-Bibb County Fire Department.

Third Annual Lawn Mower Grand Prix

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Amerson Water Works Park. A USLMRA STA-BIL Racing event benefiting Cox Capitol Theatre. (478) 257-6391. Free. Presented by Cox Communications. Event continued on March 21.

Kids CherryDazzle

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Miller Lite Central City Park. Featuring face painting, games, prizes, mascots and more. Free events from Lowe’s and Applebee’s. Giveaway by Invisible Fence. Presented by Waters Construction.

Pet Fashion Show

11 a.m. registration, 1-2:30 p.m. show, Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage. Fashion show for pets and their owners including categories such as Best Dressed, Pet/Owner Look-alike and Prettiest in Pink. Prizes for winners. Rain date March 21. Free. Presented by FURever Friends.

Dixie Disc Dogs Championships

11 a.m.-5 p.m. Miller Lite Central City Park. Premier Frisbee Dogs from around the country compete for the Championship Title.

Sea Lion Splash

11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 6 p.m. shows, 8 p.m. playtime, Miller Lite Central City Park. Free. Presented by Georgia Farm Bureau and State Bank.

Motorcycles Display

12:30-2:30 p.m. Miller Lite Central City Park. More than 100 bikes on display. Free. Presented by ABATE of Georgia.

Performance by featured nation Russia

For information, visit www.cherryblossom.com.

Bed Race

1 p.m. Cherry Street, downtown. Teams of five competing for funniest, most original, judge’s choice and the fastest bed. Official Bed Race Headquarters Beds and Bedding. Heat timing by Technicon Engineering. Free. Presented by Walthall Oil Co.

Outdoor Youth Choir Concert by Martha Bowman United Methodist Youth Choir

2 p.m. following Bed Race, Third Street Park. One-hour worship presentation with a 50-voice choir and live band. (478) 477-4188, extension 111. Free.

Snakes of Georgia Encounter

2:30-3:30 p.m. Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage, Miller Lite Central City Park. Live demonstrations. Free.

Tunes and Balloons

4 p.m. gates open, Macon State College. Parking off Ivey Road. Hot air balloon tether rides, children’s activities, live music by the Loose Skrews Band, and a balloon glow at dusk. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnics. Food vendors on site. $5 per person, free for children under 6. Presented by Cox Communications, The Georgia Lottery Corp. and The Medical Center of Central Georgia.

Picnic and Pops

5 p.m. Coleman Hill, Bond Street. Featuring Middle Georgia Concert Band. Bring picnics, lawn chairs. Free.

A Night of Motown

7 p.m. Le Piada, 4295 Interstate Drive. Food, music and prizes given for costumes and innovative dancing. Benefiting Central Georgia Technical College’s Adult Education Scholarship Fund. (478) 474-3566. $30 per person, $50 per couple, $200 per table of eight. Presented by Harmon and Harmon Realtors Inc.

Ocmulgee National Monument Lantern Light Tours

7:30-10 p.m. today-Sunday and March 26-28, 1207 Emery Highway. (478) 752-8257. One-mile walk along the lantern light trail. Ranger-led tours at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Self-guided tours 7:30-10 p.m. $5 adult; free for children 12 and under.Cherry Blossom Ballroom Spectacular

8 p.m. Porter Auditorium, Wesleyan College. Ballroom dance and Latin performances as seen on television. www.dancecentreballroom.com. (478) 743-9391. $10 per person.

Nightly Concert

8-11 p.m. Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage, Miller Lite Central City Park. Featuring country group The Nick Malloy Band with Shane Bridges. Free. Presented by Pizza Hut.

Sunday, March 21

Cherry Blossom Opening Worship Service

11 a.m. Vineville United Methodist Church, 2045 Vineville Ave. Sunday church service honoring the Cherry Blossom Festival. (478) 745-3331.

Amazing Animal Athlete Dog Show

11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Miller Lite Central City Park. Championship Disc Dogs perform freestyle demonstrations. Free.

Sea Lion Splash

Noon, 2 p.m., 6 p.m. shows, 8 p.m. playtime, Miller Lite Central City Park. Free. Presented by Georgia Farm Bureau and State Bank.

Cherry Blossom Lantern Lighting Ceremony

2 p.m. Third Street Park, Third and Mulberry streets. Festival dignitaries light the ceremonial lantern. Free. Presented by Wesleyan College.

The Organ at St. Joseph

2 p.m. St. Joseph Catholic Church, 830 Poplar St. (478) 745-1631. Organ concert by Gail Archer. Free.

Snakes of Georgia Encounter

2:30-3:30 p.m. Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage, Miller Lite Central City Park. Live demonstrations. Free.

Middle Georgia Youth Ballet

2:30 p.m. Grand Opera House. A Grand Afternoon of Song and Dance featuring “Les Patineurs” from The Skaters and “Where the Wild Things Are” as well as performances by the Mercer University Children’s Choir. $10 adults, $8 students, $10 day of show, general admission.

Cherry Blossom Parade

3 p.m. Cherry and Mulberry streets. Floats, military units, marching bands, costumed performers, international dignitaries and more. Parade will air at 7 p.m. March 23 on NBC. Parade DVDs for sale at www.41NBC.com or call (478) 745-4141. Free. Presented by Geico.

Hark the Harp

3 p.m. Riverside United Methodist Church, 735 Pierce Ave. (478) 746-9688, extension 113. Betsy Fitzgerald demonstrates how the harp works and showcases music. Free. Presented by Riverside United Methodist Church.

Nightly Concert

6-9 p.m. Coca-Cola Entertainment Stage, Miller Lite Central City Park. Featuring Hollywood Band. Free. Presented by Pizza Hut.

Cherry Blossom Kaleidoscope of Cultures

7 p.m. Porter Auditorium, Wesleyan College. Cultural performances by the festival’s featured nations Japan, Taiwan, Russia and the United Kingdom. Free with a 2010 festival pin. Presented by Wal-Mart.

Ocmulgee National Monument Lantern Light Tours

7:30-10 p.m. today-Sunday and March 26-28, 1207 Emery Highway. (478) 752-8257. One-mile walk along the lantern light trail. Ranger-led tours at 7:30 and 9 p.m. Self-guided tours 7:30-10 p.m. $5 adult; free for children 12 and under.

TOURS AND ATTRACTIONS

Cherry Blossom Riding Tours

1 p.m. departure March 19-20 and March 22-27 (no Sunday tours). Guided tours showcasing Yoshino cherry trees and historic landmarks. Departs from Miller Lite Central City Park. Arrive 15 minutes prior to departure. (478) 751-7415. $12 per person.

Around Town Tours: Museum District Tour

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Pre-packaged admission into downtown museums. Includes the Tubman African American Museum, Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and Music Hall of Fame. The ticket is valid for one year from the date of purchase or until all attractions have been visited. Relax and ride the trolley for an additional fee. Tickets sold at the Macon-Bibb County Visitors & Convention Bureau, 450 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. (478) 743-3401. $18 adult, $8.50 youth.

Around Town Tours: Historic Homes Tour

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Pre-packaged admission into historic downtown house museums. Includes National Historic Landmark Hay House, Sidney Lanier Cottage and Cannonball House. The ticket is valid for one year from the date of purchase or until all attractions have been visited. Relax and ride the trolley for an additional fee. Tickets sold at the Macon-Bibb County Visitors & Convention Bureau, 450 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. (478) 743-3401. $17 adult, $9 youth.

Around Town Tours: Combination Tour

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Includes all the attractions listed above in Museum District and Historic Homes Tour. The ticket is valid for one year from the date of purchase or until all attractions have been visited. Relax and ride the trolley for an additional fee. Tickets sold at the Macon-Bibb County Visitors & Convention Bureau, 450 Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. (478) 743-3401. $32 adult, $16.50 youth

Hay House

10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 19-28 (last tour at 3:30 p.m.), 934 Georgia Ave. Visitors will enjoy 30-minute tours of the circa 1855-59 Italian Renaissance Revival mansion owned and operated by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. Special behind-the-scenes tours offered 9:30 a.m. March 20 and March 27, 5:30 p.m. March 22, and 12:30 p.m. March 28. This hour-and-half tour includes all seven levels of the house and the cupola, focusing on technology and the workings of the house. Reservations required for special tour. (478) 742-8155. Daily tours from $5, children under 6 free. Behind-the-scenes tours for ages 8 and up only, $20 per person.

Cannonball House

10 a.m.-5 p.m. March 19-20 and March 22-27, by appointment only on March 21 and March 28, 856 Mulberry St. Tour of the Cannonball House struck by a Union Army shell during the Civil War. Also see the unique two-story kitchen and servant’s quarters. (478) 745-2862. $6 adults, $5 seniors and military, $2 students, $4 for groups of 15 or more, free for children under 6. Special event March 27; call for information.

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 301 Cherry St. (478) 752-1585. $8 adults; $6 seniors, military and students; $3.50 for 17 and under; and free for children under 4. Group rates for 10 or more.

Georgia Music Hall of Fame

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. “Johnny Mercer: Too Marvelous for Words” on display. Jack Owens, “The Oldest Voice in Georgia,” performs songs by Johnny Mercer at 2 p.m. March 22, 24 and 26 inside the main exhibit hall. (478) 751-3334. www.georgiamusic.org. $8 adults; $6 seniors; $3.50 kids 4-17.

Museum of Arts and Sciences

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, 4182 Forsyth Road. Specialty exhibits and daily planetarium shows at 4 p.m., and 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. (478) 477-3232. $8 adults; $6 seniors 62 and older; $5 ages 12-17 and students; $4 ages 2-11; and free for children under 2.

Tubman African American Museum

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday, 340 Walnut St. (478) 743-8544. $6 adults; $5 seniors; $4 children.

Historic Douglass Theatre

355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (478) 742-2000.

Museum of Aviation at Robins Air Force Base

9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. (478) 926-6870. Free admission.

Georgia Children’s Museum

10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. (478) 755-9539. www.georgiachildrensmuseum.com.

Woodruff House Tour

10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 19-20 and March 22-27, 988 Bond St. Antebellum mansion and Ikebana Japanese Flower Arranging Exhibit courtesy of the Middle Georgia Chapter of Ikebana International. $5 per person at the door.

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