Cherry Blossoms in Georgia

Rated as one of the top ten cherry blossom festivals in the world by BudgetTravel, Macon Georgia's International Cherry Blossom Festival's claim to fame is its celebration of its 300,000 flowering Yoshino cherry trees in the "Cherry Blossom Capital of the World." Although I was a week early, I decided to see if I could witness an early welcome to spring in Macon.

"You're a week early, honey" said the friendly lady at the Visitor Center.

"You won't be seeing many cherry blossoms today," warned the other.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the luxury of extending my visit to Georgia for another week so despite the warnings, they handed me a trail map of the cherry blossom route and I was on my way.

Perhaps my imagination got the better of me but I was envisioning walking through massive parks lined with cherry trees ready to flower in a few days' time, and maybe such a park exists in Macon, but I was not made aware of it so I followed the course set out on the trail map, by driving through the streets of Macon. Not exactly what I had in mind, but you have to accept it for what it is.


The start of this flowered landscape began in 1952 after Macon realtor William A. Fickling Sr. began handing out cuttings from his backyard cherry tree to local friends and neighbors. This would explain why the cherry bloom trail winds its way through several residential communities through the city. While the streets were bare today, I can only imagine the traffic once the cherry blossoms are in full bloom during the festival.

So while Macon may in fact be the cherry blossom capital of the world, the blossoms are probably only an excuse to celebrate the start of spring with neighbours and friends during the pinkest party on Earth. Good on them because any celebration is a good celebration.

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