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Nashville star named to headline CBF concert; famous clown to be parade grand marshal

Here are the acts, events coming to 2019 Cherry Blossom Festival

2019 Cherry Blossom Festival Chair Alex Habersham announced the events for the 2019 Festival Friday in the Festival's headquarters.
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2019 Cherry Blossom Festival Chair Alex Habersham announced the events for the 2019 Festival Friday in the Festival's headquarters.

The headliner concert this year for the Pinkest Party on Earth will feature country music singer Drake White, and the opening act features Warner Robins native Travis Denning.

The announcements of new and returning events for the 38th Cherry Blossom Festival, to be held March 22-31, were made Friday at the festival’s headquarters on Cherry Street.

“We’re bringing Nashville to Macon,” said Alex Habersham, 2019 festival chairman, referring to White.

The headliner concert and all other concerts during the festival will be held in Central City Park this year. In the past, the headliner event was often held in downtown Macon. The concerts do not cost extra and are included with the $5 admission to the park.

Some new events at Central City Park this year include ice skating, a hypnotist show and a high dive show daily at no extra cost.

White is expected to perform his hits such as “Makin’ Me Look Good Again,” “Livin the Dream” and “Girl in Pieces” at 6:30 p.m. March 30.

Taste of Country, an online publication, reported in September Drake as saying he’s aware his brand of country music is different from people are used to hearing on mainstream radio. “He describes it as ‘Muscle Shoal southern-fried, soul, funky country music,’ “ the article said.

Denning got a record deal in 2017 with Universal Music Group, according to his bio. The singer-songwriter has opened shows for Cole Swindell, Alan Jackson and Chase Rice.

Habersham enthusiastically announced that “the world’s most famous clown,” Ronald McDonald, will be the grand marshal for the Cherry Blossom parade which will be held March 24, and the celebrity marshal will be actor Michael O’Leary, who was a 25-year veteran on “The Guiding Light” soap opera.

People may want to get to the parade route early to cheer on runners in the 5k road race for Wesley Glenn Ministries along the parade route, while waiting for colorful floats, loud marching bands and shiny antique cars.

Third Street Park festivities will kick off March 25 and take place 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Events include free Coca-Cola, ice cream, donuts and carriage rides. Macon-based Mrs. Giffin’s BBQ Sauce will be serving free barbecue sandwiches while they last. The country of Mexico will be honored each day with special performances.

While the Tunes and Balloons event has been held in multiple locations over the years and even moved to a fall event, it’s part of the grand finale this year and will be held March 31 at Middle Georgia State University.

Macon Pops will perform 6-8 p.m. at the finale, and it will honor and celebrate musical legends of the recent past with the songs and music of Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Michael Jackson and others.

For more information on all events, go to www.cherryblossom.com

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Linda Morris, who has won several state and national journalism awards, covers business news for The Telegraph in Macon. Prior to beginning her journalism career, she worked with a commercial real estate developer, law firms, banks, a retailer and a wholesaler.
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