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Cherry Blossom Festival adds camel rides, high-heeled race

The “Pinkest Party on Earth” will sport several new offerings in 2011, including camel rides in Central City Park, a high-heeled sprint for charity and a decorator’s showcase featuring a rehabilitated home in historic downtown Macon.

The new events are in addition to several Cherry Blossom Festival favorites, festival President and CEO Karen Lambert said Monday.

“There will be activities for the whole 10 days,” Lambert said.

Camel rides and an interactive “Water Ball” game are new to Central City park this year.

Women -- and men -- are invited to don high heels for a one-block sprint March 19 after the annual bed race, Lambert said.

Participants “must be wearing at least three-inch heels,” she said.

The $10 entry fee will be donated to the Susan G. Komen cancer research organization. Register at www. komencentralga.org.

Also new for 2011, the festival is partnering with the Historic Macon Foundation and offering tours of Georgia’s first energy-efficient rehabilitated historic home in a decorator’s showcase.

Lambert said the house will be decked out in cherry blossom decor by more than a dozen designers.

Historic Macon bought the three-story Orange Street home five years ago and has used as much green technology as possible while restoring it, said Jeff Logan, president of the foundation’s board of trustees.

The house is under contract, and proceeds from its sale will go back into Historic Macon’s “revolving fund for neighborhood revitalization,” Logan said.

Tours will be held March 17-20 and March 27. Tickets for the tour cost $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

The location of the annual street party, scheduled for March 26, also is being changed this year, Lambert said.

While one stage will remain in front of Terminal Station, another will be erected near Capital City Bank on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Lambert said Monday that pre-festival events will continue Friday at the Drink Pink Event presented by the Macon Arts Alliance. Festival signature cocktails concocted by local restaurants and bars will be served at a textile show featuring paintings by J. Alan Gibson at Macon Arts, 486 First St., from 5-8 p.m. Admission is free.

The festival’s gift shop opened Monday at 567 Cherry St. and is open weekdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Tickets for festival events can be purchased at cherryblossom.com or by calling Mercer Ticket Sales at 301-5470.

The festival, in its 29th year, runs March 18-27.

To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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