Everyone has heard of the cherry blossom festival in Washington, D.C. Every spring, the tidal basin is surrounded by beautiful pink and white blooms. But it turns out if you’re looking for THE place to see cherry blossoms in the U.S., that honor goes to Macon, Georgia.
Yes it’s true, the city of Macon (population 89,981) is also home to more than 350,000 cherry trees. This is more than 90 times the number of cherry trees in D.C., which only has about 3,700 to 3,800 cherry trees, according to the National Park Service.
The abundance of blossoms makes for a pretty spectacular spring, and every year the city—which is about 85 miles southeast of Atlanta, hosts the International Cherry Blossom festival from March 24 through April 2.
Macon is thick with Yoshino cherry trees, the same kind found in D.C. They were discovered in 1949 by William A. Fickling Sr., a Macon realtor who noticed the flowering tree in his backyard. Fickling would later travel to our nation’s capital in 1952 where he discovered the flowering tree was the Yoshino cherry tree. He learned to breed the tree and distributed them throughout the Macon community. The trees took hold and spread, leading to the jaw-dropping 350,000 trees that bloom each spring.
Today, the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon s a big production. It has amusement rides, cherry blossom-themed events, plant sales, orchestral concerts, food trucks, concession stands and so much more.
Naturally, people are encouraged to wear cherry blossom-pink.
And the sweetest part of all? The Fickling Family Foundation is still helping to beautify Macon, decades later. Every year, the foundation donates thousands of Yoshino trees to city residents, meaning the beautiful blossoms will only continue to multiply.
So, are you going to skip the D.C. blossom festival in favor of the one in Macon, Georgia? It sounds pretty good to us…