Friday, March 15, 2013

Flowering Trees and Other Southern Specialties

Spring has Sprung. Not officially, but as far as we are concerned down here, it's time to pull out the summer dresses, pack up the sweaters and bask in the sunlight.

I have to be perfectly honest with you, I have no idea if other cities around the United States celebrate flowering trees the way we do down here. Maybe it's a Southern thing or maybe not - regardless, we do love to celebrate pastel blossoms around these parts. 

For example, It's Cherry Blossom time in Macon. That's right, we have (as we have coined,) the "Pinkest Party on Earth." It lasts about 10 days and brings more visitors to Macon than any other time during the year. For example, I met an elderly white couple from Canada at the museum today. They came down to experience some southern culture and see these pink blossoms everywhere.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature is being a little bashful and has decided not to bloom yet, and that.. my dear friends.. is sort of the drama around flowering tree festivals. When you put all your money on something as temperamental as a bloom, you can't expect to get it right each time. Does not matter around these parts - homes are draped in pepto pink ribbons, the lanes on the road have a pink line instead of a yellow line, and every where you go, strong heterosexual men may be donning a hot pink blazer.

I just can't make this stuff up.

Though it's easy to snicker when you are cynical as I am, the truth is, I do enjoy the Cherry Blossoms. They really are pretty. The photo above is of Third Street park in downtown Macon. These trees are all over the city, and when the petals begin to fall (about after a week or so,) the sidewalks look like a snowy wonderland. 

It's also great for the economy, well.. as long as someone does not pass out "admit one free" coupons on behalf of your museum??!! ;-)

There are a few events I think sound fairly interesting. If you are within driving distance, and want to check out a little southern culture for the weekend, and see Macon put on her prettiest pink petticoats, then come down within the next few weeks. 

Here are a few events I think are tops in my book:

Friday Night:
Spirits Stroll:
You know how we love our past down here, and we are all a little quirky with our superstitions and tales of yesterday... we actually have a wonderful Spirit Stroll of a local cemetery! That's tonight and each night this week from 5:30 until 6:30pm.

Ocmulgee Lantern Light Tours
Our Indian Mounds are fascinating on their own, but to see them by lantern light under the stars - it's one of the best treats in town.  7:30pm - 9:30pm

See? Two really cool events in one night, one right behind the other. 

Pink Pancake Breakfast
There are several reasons why this would be a hit. 1. Pancakes are involved. 2. The money raised benefits the American Cancer Society. 3. Cooked by Firefighters. Unfortunately, they keep their shirts on during the creation of the pancakes. This happens from 7am until 10am at Central City Park.

Dixie Disc Dog Championship
I seriously go bonkers for this each year. LOVE this event, and of course, it's free at at Central City Park. You get to watch premier Frisbee dogs compete for the BIG title. It's super cool.

Tunes & Balloons
Imagine if you will.. you have a blanket spread out, sipping a glass of wine, chewing on some stinky cheese ... the sun is setting... music is wafting on the breeze.. and suddenly the sky is lit full of hot air balloons. Yep.. that's what we have going on Saturday night. It will take place at Middle Georgia State College. The balloons will glow at dusk. Pretty cool way to end a Saturday night. ;-)

One word - Parade.

Third Street Park Festivities
Music, chatter from important people, and my favorite part - Free Ice cream and donuts. My dad retired from the dairy company that would serve up the ice cream. He would wear his pink blazer each year and hand out ice cream cones of Cherry Chocolate Chip ice cream.

Free Concert, Central City Park
Actually one of my favorite local bands is performing for free in Central City Park Monday night - Big Mike and the Booty Papas. They rock.. check them out:

Military Concert
We are also a big military community. On Tuesday night there will be a military concert at Wesleyan College.

I would drive around and check out the blossoms...

Three Words - Old Book Sale. 
Sale of over 100,000 books to benefit the Bibb County libraries and support the literacy effort in the Middle Georgia community.

Free Concert at Central City Park
I would attend this concert - The Grapevine is playing. One of the members is the husband of one of my former CEOs. :-) 

GRITS The Musical
Of course for my "non" southern friends, I would recommend going to this show. 
Based on the book Friends are Forever by Deborah Ford, GRITS: The Musical is a full production journey that will take you to and through the heart of the South. It’s four women, four generations and four different views. It’s your mother, your sister, your Grandma, your best friend. It’s sweet tea, collard greens, fresh tomatoes and banana puddin’. It's also at The Grand, a beautiful Opera House here in Macon.

Coleman Hill Jazz Concert
Again, grab a blanket, a picnic, and listen to a very popular musician locally, Joey Stuckey. 

Mulberry Street Arts & Crafts Festival
This is actually separate from Cherry Blossom, though most people don't realize it. It's the biggest fundraiser for the Middle Georgia Art Association (which my mom is the Executive Director for.) HUGE festival - with 240+ artists from all over America. 

Of course there are so many other events.. tons, actually, but if I had someone here visiting, those are the events I would take them too. To see a detailed listing click HERE. 

Again.. when you look on the website, the information for the Tubman is NOT correct. Not sure who said we were doing that - but hey.. we'll get it fixed very soon.

What funny little festivals do your communities celebrate?

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