Cherry Blossom Festival organizers offer virtual experience

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT ) – This time of year, downtown Macon is usually packed for the “Pinkest Party on Earth.” However, due to event cancellations surrounding COVID-19, organizers are finding digital ways to continue the tradition.

“Unfortunately, we’re disappointed that we’re not having a Cherry Blossom Festival this year, but we understand and we want to bring it to folks at home — virtually,” Gary Wheat said, the president of Visit Macon.

The virtual Cherry Blossom Festival idea came from Visit Macon’s Cherry Blossom bloom camera.

Organizers thought why not take the bloom cam a step further and offer a virtual festival. This offers something for all ages including coloring pages and live concerts for streaming.

“It’s an opportunity to continue to perform while social distancing,” Wheat said.

It’s also an opportunity to showcase local shops and restaurants.

“We want to bring awareness and attention to our downtown businesses and keep them in the front of everyone’s mind because if you’re not walking around and seeing them, you’re not actively going into the stores,” said Emily Hopkins, with Newtown Macon. “We need to figure out how we can digitally promote those businesses.”

Spud Dogs owner Scott Long said this is usually his busiest time of year.

“Cherry Blossom is what rescues a lot of us from winter. I mean we just lost all of our rescue funds,” Long said.

The virtual experience allows the community to come together and celebrate in the safest way possible.

“Even though we’re all at home and social distancing, Cherry Blossoms are still blooming,” Hopkins said. “We still have a beautiful spring in Macon.”

Live concerts start at 7 p.m. each night. To stream the events, visit the Cherry Blossom Festival’s Facebook page.