Cherry Blossom Festival Photos (March 30, 2010)
VIDEO: A chat with bottle artist and festival staple Eddie King (April 13, 2010)
Though warm weather came early this year, that harbinger of spring, the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival, is still right around the corner March 26-27.
This year, the festival is celebrating it's 30th year of friendship, arts, and food. It began in 1981 as a gesture of friendship by the Maxell Corporation between the peoples of Japan and the United States and has grown into a celebrated fixture on the festival circuit and in Conyers.
The arts portion of the festival includes 300 artist and crafter booths and a variety of food booths, including an international food court. A large, interactive children's area provides over 30,000 square feet of rides, games and activities, while multiple stages offer entertainment from diverse cultures along with local bands, karate demonstrations and clogging groups.
New attractions during the 2011 festival include the high-energy music and dance performance during the Nick's Kids Show located on the main walkway. Children who participate in the Passport Scavenger Hunt Activity have a chance to win a festival souvenir, while the festival's entertainment stages will also highlight many Japanese cultural presentations such as the Georgia Kyudo Renmei and the Kyudo Alliance performances demonstrating the traditional Japanese martial art of archery. Guests can also help the festival decorate for the celebration by taking part in the Cherry Tree Art Activity.
Cherry Blossom Festival events throughout the month include the Miss Conyers Cherry Blossom Scholarship Pageant that took place on February 26 at the Rockdale County Auditorium.
The newest auxiliary event, Walk with Angels, took place on March 5. The eight-mile walk, presented by the Kimberley Chance Atkins Foundation, raised $36,000 towards the purchase of a mobile mammography unit to serve east metro Atlanta. The walk began at the Georgia International Horse Park and ended in Olde Town Conyers.
The Cherry Blossom Croquet Tournament is scheduled for March 12 at Oxford College of Emory University in Oxford, Georgia. The tournament is hosted by the Heartland Woman's Club and benefits Rockdale Emergency Relief and the Food Pantry of Newton County.
The Kiwanis Club Cherry Blossom Golf Tournament will take place at Cherokee Run Golf Club on March 25. Funds raised from the tournament help the Kiwanis Club support charities within the community.
The festival runs Saturday and Sunday , 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free with a $5 parking fee per vehicle.
The Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival was named a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event for March 2011 and honored during four consecutive years at the Southeast Festivals and Events Conference Kaleidoscope Awards as the "Best Festival in the Southeast" in its budget category.
For more information about the festival, visit www.conyerscherryblossomfest.com or call 770-602-2606 or 1-800-CONYERS.