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In fair or foul weather, Cherry Blossom show goes on

Crowds were lighter than expected over the weekend at the rain-dampened Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival held at the Georgia International Horse Park. Fairies and gargoyles apparently didn't mind the weather, however, as these roamed the grounds promoting the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Staff Photo: Lee Depkin

Crowds were lighter than expected over the weekend at the rain-dampened Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival held at the Georgia International Horse Park. Fairies and gargoyles apparently didn't mind the weather, however, as these roamed the grounds promoting the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Staff Photo: Lee Depkin

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Three-year-old Tristan Hembree didn't let the inclement weather dampen his spirts. Snuggled under a blanket, Tristan enjoyed the festival sights as his mother, Jamie, conveyed him around the festival grounds. Staff photo: Lee Depkin

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A popular spot at the Cherry Blossom Festival was a knife-making demonstration, where heat from the gas-fired furnace took some of the chill off the day. Flint River Knife Club member David Prowell forges a knife from a railroad spike. Staff photo: Lee Depkin

CONYERS -- The rain came and the wind blew, but that didn't stop several thousand people from venturing forth for the 32nd annual Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival held over the weekend at the Georgia International Horse Park.

Jennifer Edwards, director of Public Relations and Tourism for the city, said car counts indicated that between 5,000 and 7,000 people came out over the two days of the rain-dampened festival. In better weather, the festival typically draws between 30,000 to 40,000 people.

"The weather is the one thing we can't control," she said.

Edwards said several of the vendors said they were surprised at the amount of attendance in light of the weather conditions and were looking forward to participating in better conditions.

The Cherry Blossom Festival was recently awarded the silver Kaleidoscope Award for Best Festival in the Southeast in its budget category. The award was announced during the 2013 Southeast Festivals and Events Association's Kaleidoscope Awards held in conjunction with the 10th Annual Southeast Festivals and Events (SFEA) Conference in Auburn, Ala.

In addition, JRM Management Company, a vendor of the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival, was recognized with the gold Kaleidoscope Award for the Best Vendor in the Southeast. The Georgia International Horse Park nominated JRM Management Company for the award for their years of quality service and product.