Cherry Blossom Festival 2014
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival begins Saturday, April 5th with the Cherry Blossom Challenge Bicycle Race and concludes on Sunday, April 13th with the Bloomfest community festival. The cherry blossom display in Essex County Branch Brook Park is larger than the national display in Washington, DC and is the most diverse collection of cherry blossom varieties in the world.
The 38th Annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival includes the following events:
Cell Phone Tours
Visitors to Essex County Branch Brook Park can enjoy a self-guided tour by dialing 973-433-9047 and following the prompts or by using their Smart Phone to scan the bar codes at each of the 72 locations to connect to a short history of the park and horticultural information. There is no charge for the cell phone tour.
April 5: Cherry Blossom Challenge Annual Bike Race (7am-12pm)
Race through Branch Brook Park in the Cherry Blossom Challenge, a competitive New Jersey tradition, or cheer on the cyclists while enjoying a day in the fresh, spring air. Various races occur throughout the morning, with the first race at 7 a.m. and the last race at 12 Noon. Registration fees apply to racers. It’s free to enter the park and watch.
April 6: Cherry Blossom 10K Run (Registration 8am; Race begins at 10am)
Run through the historic cherry tree groves in this race that is sanctioned by the USATF and is a Women’s Master’s Championship Race. The first 500 registrants will receive a commemorative Cherry Blossom 10K Run long-sleeved T-shirt. A portion of the race proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. Online registration can be done at www.compuscore.com. Same day registration begins at 8am. Advanced registration is recommended. Race starts at 10 a.m. Disabled Run starts at 10:10 a.m. A health and wellness expo will open at 9 a.m. and remain open until the awards ceremony concludes. Free to enter the Park and watch.
April 12: 1-Mile Fun Run and Walk (Registration 8am; Race begins at 10am)
Celebrate the arrival of spring and get fit with your family or friends. Children are encouraged to run individually or as a member of a school team. Schools and groups must register in advance by calling 973-239-2495. This is a free event. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt.
April 12: Essex County Family Day (11am-3pm)
The public is encouraged to come out and enjoy an afternoon of family-fun with a variety of events including carnival games, music and other entertainment. Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase food from vendors who will be on site and enjoy the picturesque views overlooking the lake. Admission is free but food and other merchandise will be for sale.
April 13: Bloomfest (11am-5pm)
Enjoy a family day in the pink park! A packed schedule of events includes cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food and more. Winners from the “Why My Essex County Park is Important to Me” essay contest for 4th graders and “Cherry Blossom Poster Contest” for 6th graders will be recognized on stage. Other highlights include a performance by the Brick City Jazz Orchestra, comprised of 19 teenage musicians; and the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum will make its traveling exhibition available to the public. Admission is free; food and merchandise will be for sale.
Cherry Blossom Guided Tours
April 11 (12pm-3pm); April 16 (11am-2pm); April 18 (12pm-3pm); April 19 (11am-4pm)
Have knowledgeable guides take you on a 45-minute journey and point out 119 years of history hidden within Essex County Branch Brook Park’s structure and design. Tours leave from the Essex County Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on the hour. Transportation around the park is provided. Tickets are $5 person and can be purchased at the Welcome Center on the tour dates. Space is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Call 973-239-2495 to inquire about group tour bookings.
MORE INFO: www.essexcountynj.org
or by calling 973-268-3500.
April 2, 2014