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Macon Life

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Macon's Famous Cherry Blossom Festival

It’s Springtime in Middle Georgia - The time has changed giving us that extra hour of sunlight we are all craving. The birds are happily singing their song as we slowly begin to see the joy of new life blossoming in nature.

Macon, GA

Macon, GA

Each March, our familiar streets flourish with the 350,000+ Yoshino Cherry Trees that are planted here. These stunning trees can trace their Middle Georgia roots all the way back to 1949 when William A. Fickling Sr. discovered a unique and unrecognized blossom – later to be discovered as the Yoshino Cherry Tree. The Fickling family continued to develop their love for this new tree and decided to distribute them throughout the city of Macon. 

When we begin seeing these pink blooms all over town, this is a sure indicator that the Spring season has arrived. In Middle Georgia, with Spring also comes the fun! In 1982, Carolyn Crayton established the Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the beauty of these trees and to honor the Fickling family for all that they had done for the city. The Cherry Blossom Festival is a beloved tradition that is perfect for all ages. This festival is a great time for Macon natives to come together as a community. We also get to share our community and fellowship with travelers from all over the world that are drawn here for the festivities. There is surely something to be enjoyed by all. 

This year the Cherry Blossom Festival will extend for two entire weeks starting March 22ndand ending March 31st. The festival has several events to choose from ranging from the Pink Pancake Breakfast, the Bed Race, concerts, food trucks, parades, and so much more. Our town will certainly be buzzing with activity in celebration of this Macon tradition. For full event details please see below.

Dates: March 22 - 31

Times: 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. daily

Price: $16.50 (Adults) $12.50 (Students) $8.50 (5 & under)

Event Schedulehttps://cherryblossom.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/CBF2019_events_Sponsors.pdf

Write up provided by: Alex Putnam

Photo: maconga.org

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SAVING CAPRICORN STUDIOS

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The story of Capricorn started with a young Phil Walden booking bands for surrounding fraternity parties. With an incredible passion for music, Walden really made it big when he discovered a band called Pat Tea Cake and the Mighty Panthers featuring Johnny Jenkins on guitar and Otis Redding as vocalist. As Walden and Redding grew closer, the idea of a record label flourished in their minds. Together they launched Redwal Music – Red for Redding and Wal for Walden. 

With the music label successfully under their belt, they continued dreaming of what their future might hold. A few years later, in 1969, Capricorn Studios was founded. Located in Macon, Georgia, Capricorn, was the home to many music legends including, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Outlaws, Wet Willie, and many others. 

Capricorn Studios is frequently associated with the Allman Brothers band because of the immense amount of time the brothers spent there working on three of their albums. Greg Allman and Dickey Bett both went on to produce solo albums at Capricorn in 1973 and 1974 as well. The Allman Brothers as well as the other musical talents that recorded at Capricorn Studios are why many now refer to Macon as the birthplace of Southern rock.

This studio had such an impact on American culture by creating an entirely new genre of music. The artists that recorded at Capricorn combined influences from blues, soul, rock and country – which we now call Southern rock. While this studio significantly shaped Macon history, they unfortunately closed their doors in 1979 due to financial troubles. 

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In 2015, Mercer University, NewTown Macon, Sierra Development and Southern Pine Plantations announced their plans to restore the famous Capricorn Studios. The Mercer Music program plans to return the studio back into functioning conditions including features such as recording studios, spaces for small concerts, as well as, educational programs through Mercer’s Townsend School of Music. Capricorn Studios will also showcase the music history that was made here through static exhibits as well as interactive digital kiosks. Several sources say this exhibit will be up and running by December 2019 just in time for Capricorn Studios 50th anniversary. 

Write up provided by: Alex Putnam

Photo provided by: Anna Daniels

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The Glowing Gingko Trees

Here in the South, we have a very brief Fall so we really try to soak in all that the season has to offer. We break out our boots and scarves, grab our favorite latte, and marvel at the colors nature has displayed for us. 

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During these few weeks of Autumn, one of the most spectacular events takes place. The Gingko tree, which lines our Macon sidewalks and neighborhoods we frequent, gives its glowing yellow show. Almost overnight, the leaves turn from green to a vibrant yellow leaving us Maconites awestruck by their beauty. The tree then waits for the first frost of the season and at once loses all of their beautiful leaves leaving a blanket of yellow underneath. 

The Ginkgo tree first originated in Southeast Asia nearly 200 million years ago. These glowing beauties were said to have been around when Dinosaurs were still present making this tree a living fossil. You can find Gingko’s thriving anywhere and in practically any condition – drought, poor soil, lack of space, etc.

These Gingko trees are very near and dear to my heart as they line the streets of my very own neighborhood. I love being able to watch the series of events when the transition into Autumn finally hits. Hopefully the Fall season can teach all of us that change can be a very beautiful thing. 

Write up provided by: Alex Putnam

Photo: https://www.pinterest.com/grangerjj/gingko-trees/?lp=true

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Cut Out the Commute

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I don’t know about you but I am ready to be done with all the bumper to bumper traffic flowing in and out of downtown. As I sat at the 4th light of 12, I have to get through to cross over College Street, I told my son that we have to go back to our alternate route. Vineville Avenue has only become more congested over the years. This is undeniable proof that downtown is a flourishing destination for work, education, entertainment and dining.  With employees of Navicent Health and Coliseum, city workers, small business owners and staff, families taking children to St. Joseph’s and Mount de Sales and so many others, those of us who must make the drive in can feel like sardines on a slow-moving conveyer belt.

 

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This dilemma points out yet another benefit to making downtown your home. Imagine walking or biking to work? Imagine the time and gas saved by living and working in the same centralized location. The Lofts provide well lit, gated parking, so your vehicle can stay at home while you work and play. No feeding the meter or worrying about the 3-hour limit. A daily schedule that cuts out the commute in the morning and afternoon can lead to more focused time with friends and family, implementing a solid wellness routine, and kicking back to some local entertainment. Sure, we all need to make that trip to the grocery store or mall, but when living downtown, that time spent in the car is on your terms based on what you decide.

 

 

 

As more Maconites choose to make downtown their home, our eateries, entertainment venues, galleries, salons and retailers will flourish. There will be an undeniable demand for a full-service grocer within the 3-block radius of 2nd Street that will most likely lead to a smart entrepreneur or a grocery chain wanting a piece of the pie.

A larger downtown population will enable our small business owners to thrive which will attract more new businesses that will contribute to our economy, create jobs and services, and solidify Macon as a strong competitive city capable of providing the best in opportunity and quality of life.

By cutting out the commute and making downtown your home you can save time, money, and sanity while also bringing growth and stability to our much-loved city.  

 

Write up and photos provided by: Anna Daniels

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Macon Bacon: The Newest Sizzle in Middle Georgia

The Macon Bacon is a semi – pro baseball team in the Coastal Plains League. This is the first season for the Macon Bacon and so far they are off to a hot start! Their home opener was Friday June 1; with a home game following Saturday night as well. The team is gathering a lot of interest in the community, but there is a lot that people still don’t know! 

What makes the Macon Bacon different than other baseball teams is that most of the players just finished up their season playing college baseball. These players play on semi – pro teams (like the Macon Bacon) in the summer to keep their skills sharp and for recognition by professional scouts. Another difference is that these games are very family oriented. There are games for kids and fans on the field between innings, as well as some kind of theme for the night at almost every home game. This past Saturday (June 9) they honored our first responders and had fireworks following the game.  

Luther Williams Field is the home of the Macon Bacon. Many Maconites are glad to see the field coming back to life and reclaiming the glory it once knew so well. There have been many updates to the field to prepare for the opening season including additional concession stands, outdoor cabana suites, a group picnic area, a kids play zone, and a beer garden. There is certainly something for everyone!  

The Macon Bacon is sure to become a staple of summertime in Macon. The field is located on the edge of downtown, so make a night of it! Enjoy everything that downtown has to offer; which now includes the baseball team! For more information on the Macon Bacon such as tickets or a home game schedule, visit www.maconbaconbaseball.com!  

Write up provided by Blog Contributor: Laura Beth Shealy.

Photos provided by: StadiumJourney.com

 

 

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The Growth and Blooming of Downtown Macon, Part Two - Parking

Cherry Street

Cherry Street

Moving forward with our theme of Downtown growth and progress, a question on everyone’s mind is parking. With new businesses, restaurants and residential developments moving into the downtown core, the need for on-street parking is only going to grow. 

In November 2016, Macon-Bibb County Commissioners approved a new downtown parking plan that allows Macon’s Urban Development Authority to fund the addition of parking meters, pay stations and other parking management systems to Macon’s downtown core – the area between Walnut and Poplar and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and First Street. The downtown core contains 1260 parking spaces, and according to Alex Morrison, the Executive Director for the Urban Development Authority, around 850 meters should be installed by the end of this month. 

According to a March 2018 article by Linda Morris of the Macon Telegraph, paid parking will be enforced Monday – Saturday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and will cost $1.25 an hour. These parking meters are anticipated to generate $1 million annually, which will support the parking system itself, and then any extra revenue will be put back into downtown through accessibility and parking improvements. Bibb Urban Development has contracted with Lanier Parking Meter Services to install and manage parking meters and the authority’s parking decks downtown. The bright side to this new parking system downtown is that there will be a higher turnover of available spaces because of the two-hour parking limit, meaning more opportunities for people to park downtown and enjoy all Macon has to offer. 

The great thing about living at a Lofts property is the gated, access-controlled entry parking! At Lofts at Capricorn and Lofts at Navicent, residents have guaranteed parking spaces. Both properties are located downtown, meaning an evening stroll down a block or two leads you directly to a wide selection of restaurants, bars, and theaters! You could even grab your morning coffee just one block from Lofts at Capricorn at Taste and See! 

Living downtown definitely has its perks, but with downtown growth booming and new parking regulations starting, the idea of guaranteed parking presents an easy choice -

Live it, Love it, Loft it! Life just got better at the Lofts!

http://www.macon.com/news/business/article206026124.html

Write up provided by Blog Contributor: Reed Jones

Additional photos provided by: Gateway Macon, WGXA, and Macon.com

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