Friday, May 18, 2018


I have been reading about the Macon Cherry Blossom Festival ( ) in my travel magazines for a long time, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend, when it was offered!   The visit came about because my good friends from college have a son who is a professor at Wesleyan College in Macon.  More importantly, they have GRANDCHILDREN in Macon, and have arranged their lives such that they can spend extended periods of time in Macon.  I had the blessing of getting to meet them there, during one of their visits!
The Cherry Blossom Festival is such a big deal, it even has its very own "Storefront location" in the downtown area!
Furthermore, certain parking spaces in the downtown area, are painted pink with a stylized pink cherry blossom symbol, indicating they are for parkers who have "official" Cherry Blossom Festival tasks to attend to.

The official Cherry Blossom Store had every imaginable type of souvenir---predominantly in the trademark pink color---that one could imagine!
One of the activities associated with the Cherry Blossom Festival, is an International Food Fair.  We were able to get a preview of some of the specialty foods available, from this young man who was giving out samples, in the Cherry Blossom Store downtown. 

The photo above shows one of the Yoshino Cherry Trees in bloom.  Just about anywhere you go in the Macon area in the spring, you will see similar blossoming trees.  That is because there are 300,00-350,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees around the city.  Since this tree is not native to the South, one might be curious how this phenomena got started.  The story goes back to the 1950's when local enthusiasts for this particular tree variety, planted 500 around the main downtown area.  ( The 1950's is also around the time, I was a little kid playing on the levee of Crooked Creek, that ran through the downtown area of my hometown.  There was the cutest little dogwood tree growing there, in freshly disturbed soil, so it was quite easy for me to pull up, carry home, and present to my mother as a gift.  I knew she liked dogwood trees, and thought she would be delighted!  I was WRONG!  I was severely scolded, and told that numerous dogwood trees had been planted by the city beautification committee, and my actions were a detriment to their beautification project!  UGH!  I do not remember what my punishment was, but it must have been severe enough that I have never pulled up plants again, from anywhere, no matter where they were located!)
Since Macon, Georgia, is located in the geographic center of Georgia, it has the nickname of "Heart of Georgia".  And, since Georgia is famous for its large trees, draped with Spanish moss, you can see plenty of it all over the city. 

During the festival, Macon calls itself "The Pinkest Place on Earth", and many properties decorate their entrances with huge pink bows---like those shown here on the banister, ferns, and door wreath.
The historic Sidney Lanier Cottage is in the downtown area of Macon.

Notice that the poet was born in this cottage in 1842.  The reason this is significant is that it is a reminder that this structure, as well as several other historic structures in Macon, are still standing, even AFTER the Civil War.  That is because Union General William Tecumseh Sherman spared Macon on his "March to the Sea", when much of the surrounding area was burned to the ground by Union troops, under orders from General Sherman. 

Public places are not the only ones that decorate with a pink theme during The International Cherry Blossom Festival.  Notice the lovely mailbox at this private residence, that is festooned with a cascade of pink blossoms!
And some people even color their dogs pink for the International Cherry Blossom Festival!  I was very fortunate to get to have my photo made with this gorgeous pink poodle, at the Macon Visitor's Center.  My friends and I were at the Visitor's Center, to hop aboard the tour that is available,  to show visitors the many historic sites all around the county.   I would definitely recommend the tour, and you can find out more about it at their official website,
Another activity our group attended was the International Cherry Blossom Parade in downtown Macon.  This photo shows us with "front row seats" for the dozens of marching bands and floats that we watched, including the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses!
This visit with my longtime friend and sorority sister, in Macon, Georgia, is my visual aid for my First Place 4 Health ( ) memory verse, because the memory verse talks about MIRACLES, and my friend represents a miracle!  (We are shown in the photo above, sitting beneath a Macon storefront painted with pink cherry blossoms)  She said at the time she was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma, she was told that disease had an average survival rate of 3-5 years.  This reunion visit was held ELEVEN years since that original diagnosis, so I am PRAISING GOD and proclaiming, "You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples."  Psalm 77:14

Kathy and I both attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and it was through our sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, that we became acquainted.  So, we are not only Razorback fans, but also sorority sisters, as well as "Sisters in Christ"!   That is an eternal truth that gives me "MILES OF SMILES"!!     Tricia