Favorite Five: Macon's Festivals
Just 90 minutes south of Atlanta, Macon is a good trip at any time of year, but it really shows off during its five major festivals. There are a few smaller celebrations held throughout the year including Festival of Trees, Octoberfest and Holidays in Downtown but the "Big Five" are hallmark events that draw thousands of visitors to Macon each year.
International Cherry Blossom Festival
"The Pinkest Party on Earth!" Held annually in March, the Cherry Blossom festival celebrates the spectacular blooms of over 300,000 Yoshino Cherry Trees. Originating as a way to beautify Macon's north side residential neighborhoods, the trees have been planted throughout the city. International dignitaries are special guests for the opening ceremony that includes a formal ball. Spanning two weekends, the Festival offers a carnival in Central City Park, a Pink Pancake Breakfast, the "Bed Race", a parade, multiple free and ticketed concerts and the Mulberry Street Arts and Crafts Festival. The Visitor Center in downtown Macon schedules van tours throughout the festival. The closing celebration typically includes fireworks and an outdoor celebration. To find the event schedule and ticketing information visit, www.cherryblossom.com
Fired Works Ceramics Exhibition
April brings lovely weather and the annual Fired Works Ceramics Exhibition. Featuring over 6,000 pieces of pottery by Artists from all over the southeast, the week-long exhibition and sale is a favorite gathering for locals and visitors alike. Typically held at Central City Park in downtown, the Fired Works Exhibition also includes events like "Corks and Clay" to entice visitors to get their hands in the mud and create their own work of art. Pottery demonstrations and workshops are available throughout the festival as well as special workshops for young, budding artists. Tickets for events can be purchased online at the festival website, www.firedworksmacon.com or from the Macon Arts Alliance.
Pan African Festival
A cultural fusion of dance, music, art, food, and crafts make the Tubman Museum's annual Pan African Festival a weekend of fun for the whole family. Spread over the plaza between the Museum and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the Festival shares the history and culture of African Americans. Food trucks, workshops, and concerts along with a craft marketplace make this warm-weather event a family favorite. This is a great weekend to enjoy downtown and take a tour of the Tubman's remarkable collection. Ticket information can be found at the festival's page on the Tubman Museum's website, www.tubmanmuseum.com.
Bragg Jam Music Festival
July brings the heat to Macon and the excitement of musicians who are passionate about their art. Started to honor the Bragg Brothers, this annual summer festival brings musicians from far and wide to perform on fifty different stages located throughout Macon. Some outdoors, some inside venues, the concerts run a range of music genres. Spanning the last weekend in July, this festival is a great reason to spend a weekend in Macon. Find information about musicians and bands featured as well as ticketing information on the festival website, www.braggjam.org. Get your tickets early- this is a hot one!
Ocmulgee Indian Celebration
September is warm in Macon and a great time to visit the Ocmulgee National Monument. With over 700 acres and a Visitors Center with over 2,000 artifacts, the Monument hosts the Annual Indian Celebration. One of the largest Native American gatherings in the Southeast featuring more than 200 dancers, storytellers, craftsmen and history demonstrators come to share their culture. The event gives new generations a glimpse into the Native American culture and hosts more than 17,000 visitors to Macon. One of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events, this festival draws families from all over Georgia and the Southeast. Parking is available and tickets can be purchased through the Ocmulgee National Monument Association, www.ocmulgeemounds.org.
There are lots of reasons to visit Macon, and these Favorite Five Festivals keep us coming back year after year. We typically camp nearby and drive in for the festivals. Camping sites are available at High Falls State Park, Indian Springs State Park, Lake Tobesofkee County Park and KOA Campground. All are about fifteen to twenty minutes from downtown Macon.
Let us know about a favorite festival near your hometown. Maybe we can feature it in a future post