The International Cherry Blossom Festival returns to Macon, GA this year – under a four-hour drive from Greenville, SC – and promises to be an amazing experience with gorgeous cherry trees, live music, dog-friendly events, and family-friendly activities.
One of my favorite things about living in Washington, DC was the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Thousands of pink and white blooms lined the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial and it was always so stunning to see. It was like walking through another world. I had no idea there was a much closer Cherry Blossom Festival than traveling all the way to our nation’s capitol and it’s happening during Spring Break! In fact, this festival started after William A. Fickling, Sr. traveled to DC, saw a cherry blossom tree that looked like the one in his backyard, figured out it was a match, and then started to propagate them in Macon, GA. The ones in Washington, DC were a gift from Japan in 1912.
International Cherry Blossom Festival
The International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia, about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Greenville, is hosting a ten-day long huge festival from March 18-27, 2022, which is smack in the middle of Spring Break (wouldn’t this be a fun trip during that time?).
In Macon, which is apparently known as the “Cherry Blossom Capital of the World,” there are about 350,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees that bloom this time of year. That sounds so amazing and beautiful and sneezy. Bring your allergy meds and camera.
This year is the 40th annual festival so it will be extra special. Amongst the millions of cherry blossoms will be nightly entertainment, a parade, a bed race, a Weiner dog race, and even a chance to ride a tethered hot air balloon.
Best Festival Events
You cannot ever go wrong with a parade, right? The 40th annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will take place Sunday, March 20th, 2022 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm in Downtown, Macon. The other signature event will be the Tunes and Balloons event on Sunday, March 27th, 2022. You can ride in a tethered hot air balloon for $10. Fun!
The Festival at Carolyn Crayton Park will have lots of carnival rides, food vendors, and nightly attractions. Similar to other amusement park festivals, you can purchase a wristband that enables kids to have unlimited rides ( $20 Monday – Thursday and $25 on Saturday and Sunday). Guests are only allowed to carry in clear bags but parents with a baby or toddler can carry in a diaper bag, which will be searched and tagged. No coolers, outside food, pets, or drones are allowed inside the park. Gate admission is $5 on Sunday through Thursday and $10 on Friday and Saturday, which includes all the shows, just not the amusement rides.
Additionally, Macon’s festival will feature several dog-friendly events, including the Ultimate Air Dogs Dock Diving Competition, a Wiener Dog Race, and the Pinkest Puppy Party. In addition, the International Cherry Blossom Festival is hosting a nightly concert series consisting of performances by Billboard’s hottest country songwriter Walker Hayes, along with Nashville’s breakthrough artist Niko Moon. Also performing is the multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning group, Arrested Development.
Planning Your Trip
Where to stay
The festival is offering a reduced rate of $176 per night for a room with two queen beds at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn.
Or, this VRBO on the lake near Macon, GA
Where to eat in Macon, GA
You can get food at the festival itself or check out this extensive list of restaurants in Macon.
Will you be heading to the International Cheery Blossom Festival?