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35th Cherry Blossom Festival Kicks Off March 24

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Macon’s own International Cherry Blossom Festival
will kick off Friday, March 24 in what is sure to be one of the more exciting events this town has yet to see. This year’s event expects to be packed like never before, with all sorts of new attractions for everyone in the family to enjoy. “Expect change,” Collin Holder, this year’s Director of Events and Marketing explains to me, with a wry smile. “We’re working in collaboration with ‘Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful’ which is an affiliate of ‘Keep America Beautiful.’ The biggest thing we brought in this year is the Street Party, which will take place on Saturday, April 1 across the street from City Hall, and standing area will stretch all the way down to Second Street.” The Cherry Blossom Street Party takes place at 3 PM that Saturday, and will be headlined by George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Mavis Staples, Chuck Leavell with The Randall Bramblett Band, JD McPherson and Me & Molly. Tickets for the Street Party are available in person at The Rookery and El Camino or online at www.cherryblossom.com for $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event.

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One thing Holder wants to stress about the event is the limited amount of parking that will be available downtown. “We really stress that people carpool or Uber to these events. Parking will be very limited and we have listings on the website of where people can find shuttles to ride. We just find that this is an easier way for everyone to enjoy themselves.”  This year’s Cherry Blossom Gala will take place Saturday, March 25 at Middle Georgia State University at 7 PM and will feature a night of dining and dancing with tables of eight going for $500 by contacting Mercer Ticket sales at 478-301-5470. The 35th Annual Cherry Blossom Parade will take place on Cherry Street on Sunday, March 26 at 4 PM. Another event that will be featured this year will be the Cherry Blossom Fashion Show By Mark Ballard on Thursday March 30 at 11 AM at the Anderson Conference Center located at 5171 Eisenhower Parkway. Ballard was also the designer of this year’s Cherry Blossom pin, which is available for $5 at The Cherry Blossom Gift Shop located at 530 Cherry Street. The cost of admission to the Fashion Show is $40 and can be purchased through Mercer Ticket sales. Ballard promises surprises of celebrity guest models, local Macon fashionistas and Cherry Blossom Royalty of years passed. Later that night, The 11th Hour Readers’ Choice Awards will take place at the Cox Capitol Theatre. Tables of six for this event are $150 and are available by contacting Brad Evans of 100.9 The Creek at 478-508-7096. One great free event that will take place on Saturday, April 1 from 10 AM to 7 PM and Sunday, April 2 from 10 AM to 5 PM will be The Food Truck Frenzy on Third Street, featuring food trucks from all around the south. This event will be a great chance for people to try all sorts of cuisines not usually available in Macon.

For more information on the 2017 International Cherry Blossom Festival, be sure to check out their website at www.cherryblossom.com for a full list and schedule of the events that will be offered. Holder has assured us that, “You’re not going to want to miss this year’s event, because it’s going to be beyond special.”

NIGHTLY CONCERTS AT CENTRAL CITY PARK

MARCH 24

Echospeed 6-8 p.m. When you need your ’80s fix and only the best will do, Echospeed is the band you need! Playing the hits of the ’80s since 1992. The Godfather of ’80s cover bands. Simple enough.

The Velcro Pygmies 8-10:00 pm – Master of Ceremonies front-man Cameron leads the crowd on a roller coaster trip through the 80s, with occasional detours into country and R&B while Chris Eddins amazes you with his antics on drums. Bassist Jacob Sanders lays down the thunder while guitar god Chase West wails on his Les Paul.

MARCH 25

Kaleigh Courson 6-7:30 pm: is a Country Music singer-songwriter from Macon, GA who has a deep passion for writing and performing. Her ability to blend Southern Rock into her Country sound reminds you of what real country music is all about.

Jordan Rager 8-10:00 pm: gained popularity by singing cover versions of popular country music songs, amassing more than 3.7 million viewers on YouTube as a result. One of the artists who discovered his videos was Justin Moore, who chose him to perform on the “Off the Beaten Path” tour. Rager was signed to Broken Bow Records in 2014. He released his debut single, “Southern Boy”, via Broken Bow in February 2016, which features Aldean on duet vocals. Jordan Rager’s Second Single, “Now That I Know Your Name” released to country radio on September 19, 2016.

MARCH 26

A2Z Band  7 -9:00 pm: is a group of well experienced local musicians with a large library of dance songs.

MARCH 27 

Southern Outlaws Band 7-9:00 pm: is a six piece country and southern rock band based out of Central Georgia. Their roots stem from rock to outlaw country, to form a very unique sound and stage presence.

MARCH 28

After Hours After 6 7-9:00 pm: are seasoned musicians who have a genuine passion for live performances. From Top 40 to Beach and back around to the Oldies but Goldies, After Hours After 6 Band can give you the performance of a lifetime!

MARCH 29

Just Friends and AJ the DJ 6-9:00 pm: will come together to bring you a night of soul music that will have you dancing the night away.

MARCH 30

The Charlie Fog Band 7– 10:00 pm: Performing the music of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia. Of course as a result, territories of country (Cash, Haggard) and blues (Howlin Wolf), and folk (Dylan, Dobson, Phillips) are all explored.

MARCH 31

Latino Night 7-10 p.m.: Soneando and El Kartel will help you dance the night away on Latino Night!

APRIL 1

Harold E. Thomas & Danger Zone 6-7:30 pm: is a musical group possessing a unique style tailored by Harold E. Thomas and mastered by each musician and vocalist. Their style covers every genre from Jazz,Top-40, Beach, R&B, Reggae, Rap, Oldies and even Country. The group is based in Macon, Ga., but travels the world.

R&B Night 8-9:00 pm: Tyrus Turner is a Pop/R&b Artist that has opened for Kici&Jojo, Ginuwine, Dru Hill, Silk, and Tony Toni Tone. He was BET Apollo Live season 1 and 2 runner up.

Joey Beanz Little 9-10:00pm: An American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, fashion designer and American entrepreneur most known as lead singer of the internationally known group The Rude Boys most known for 1991 Billboard R&B Song of the year “Written All Over Your Face.”

APRIL 2

Oldies Finale 7-9:00 pm: The Fabulous Boomers Band play music that takes you back in time to your special place. 50’s and 60’s classics all the way to today’s hits.

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