Cherry Blossom Festival has a few new twists

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon’s International Cherry Blossom festival is just days away and organizers are putting on the final touches to make sure all things pink are up to par.

“You’re in the cherry blossom capital of the world,” said Director of Events Collin Holder.

But even the world isn’t ready for what Macon’s International Cherry Blossom Festival has to offer.

“We’ve been setting up since Monday actually Sunday. We started Sunday because you have to lay out the lot then Monday morning you start putting the equipment on sight,” said Carnival Manager James Graybeal.

Rides, games and events galore, Holder says there’s a lot to look forward to.

“We have more rides than we’ve ever had so, the vendors are excited,” Holder added.

Hours and hours of preparation have gone into making sure that this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival is unlike any other–from the number of rides they have to some signature events you may not have seen in a while.

“I think the highlight of this year’s festival will definitely be the street party–bringing it back and moving it to a new location. It’s a new event for us and a new even for the city,” said Holder.

Renovations to Central City Park will give this year’s festival a real theme park feel.

“It’s a whole new set up the city has done a spectacular job on the grounds. They put in new sidewalks, it’s just gonna be bigger and better,” said Graybeal.

Even after 20 years, Graybeal says putting the festival on is hard work but the end result is priceless.

“It’s an exciting business the reward that you get once you do all the work and you get it up is seeing the kids laughing and having a good time, with smiles on their faces,” he continued.

The count down to Friday’s kick-off starts now, and the pinkest city on earth will be ready.

If you want a little piece of the festival to take home, you can purchase a cherry blossom tree at the gift shop on Cherry Street.

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Joi is a vibrant new talent looking to get her start in broadcast television. She is an Atlanta native and a recent graduate of Florida State University. Joi earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication/Media Studies as well as a minor in Journalism from Florida A&M University. Her hobbies include singing, playing her violin, writing, watching movies and listening to music. Her favorite color is hunter green. One interesting fact about Joi is that in 2014, she was featured in Bill Duke's Dark Girls, an inspiring and breathtaking photo book that celebrates dark-skinned women, based on the NAACP Award–nominated documentary Dark Girls. Joi's background in broadcast goes far beyond her experience in the field. Being the daughter of former NFL Network Sports Analyst Jamie Dukes, broadcasting is in her DNA.