The History of Macon's Cherry Blossom Festival

In 1949 a realtor located in Macon, Georgia discovered the first Yoshino cherry tree while walking around in his back yard. His name, William a. Fickling Sr. At the time, Mr. Fickling was not aware he discovered a rare tree species growing in the south. Nonetheless, he admired the beauty of this tree and tried to learn more about the tree, but couldn't find answers as he questioned locals about this tree.

A few years later, in 1952, Mr. Fickling took a business trip to Washington, D.C. While there, he spotted a tree that looked exactly like the one in his backyard. On a subsequent trip, Fickling brought a clipping from his tree to compare it with the trees in Washington, D.C. It was then he realized these clippings were an exact match. Fickling finally learned what kind of tree was questioning, the Yoshino. He eventually learned how to propagate the Yoshino and started giving the seedlings to friends and family.

Over time, the Yoshino cherry trees began growing across other areas of Macon. What was once a rare phenomenon for the area became more of an attraction, causing another area resident to take notice of the beautiful buds and flowers the trees produced. Her name, Carolyn Crayton. Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Crayton relocated to Macon in the early seventies.

Eventually, Craton met Mr. Fickling at a 'Fickling company picnic.' They talked about their mutual admiration of these trees, which ultimately lead to a planting project. Fickling agreed to donate the trees if Crayton took charge of the planning portion of their project.

Saturday, November 24, 1973, nearly 500 Yoshino cherry trees planted, with some of the first along Wesleyan Woods, Guerry Drive, and Oxford Road.

The Cherry Blossom festival occurred for the first time in 1982. Over the years, the festival attracted more massive crowds, and to date, has become one of the Top 20 Events in the South. The Cherry Blossom Festivals main event dates are March 22-31, located at Central City Park in Macon. 

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P.O. Box 25 
Macon, GA 31202