All in bloom: Cherry Blossom Festival begins today

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

CONYERS -- The public is in for lots to see, lots to hear and lots to eat as this year's Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off today.

More than 200 local and regional vendors are scheduled to be on the grounds of the Georgia International Horse Park, where the festival is held, today and Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., eventgoers can peruse vendor booths, sample good eats, enjoy various international and local performances and do much more.

Downpours that plagued last year's Cherry Blossom Festival made for a soggy spring event. Organizers had their eye on the sky this year.

"We're certainly going to have a huge crowd tomorrow. It's supposed to be a beautiful day," Jennifer Bexley, director of the Georgia International Horse Park, said on Friday morning. "Depending on the weather Sunday, we think we're going to have a great weekend."

Bexley pointed to the festival's many arts and crafts booths and all-day entertainment lineup. She also mentioned Man's Land, a reptile display that offers something a bit different from the arts and crafts.

"We started that a few years ago and people just seem to enjoy walking through there," Bexley said.

A horse show will also be going on at the GIHP's Grand Prix stadium while the festival goes on at the park's Grand Prix Plaza.

If all the festivities are not enough, Bexley added that the Cherry Blossom Festival is just a good chance to get out and enjoy the beautiful day.

Eventgoers will also have the chance to take a tree home as the Rockdale County Master Gardeners will have cherry trees for sale.

Cherry Blossom Festival T-shirts will also be on sale for $15. Anyone bringing a bag of canned goods or non-perishable food items to donate to the Rockdale Emergency Relief food drive can get $2 off a festival T-shirt.

This weekend marks the 29th year for the annual two-day festival that attracts scores of people from the Southeast. The festival was named the "Top 20" event by the Southeast Tourism Society for March 2010.

Admission is free. Parking is $5.