Macon, Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate 39 years of the Pinkest Party On Earth this spring. Recent recipient of the Grand Pinnacle for Best Festival in the World from the International Festivals and Events Association as well as being named a Top 20 Event for March 2020 by the Southeast Tourism Society, the International Cherry Blossom Festival hopes to build on the success of the record-breaking 2019 programming. Leading the way with President and CEO Stacy Moore and her team will be Dr. Ivan Allen, president of Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC). Dr. Allen has served on the Board of Directors for the past 6 years. He was selected by the Executive Committee and Mrs. Moore to move into the leadership succession plan which includes a year as incoming festival chair, and then festival chair, board chair, past board chair, followed by the Chairman’s Club. The Chairman’s Club is comprised of all former board and festival chairs from the past 38 years.
In 2005, Dr. Ivan H. Allen was selected to serve as president of Middle Georgia Technical College in Warner Robins, Georgia. In July 2013, Middle Georgia Technical College and Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) in Macon and Milledgeville consolidated to form the new Central Georgia Technical College, where Dr. Allen continues to serve as the president of the institution. Under Dr. Allen’s leadership, CGTC has expanded its reach globally by developing educational and training partnerships with countries across the world, including Afghanistan, China, Colombia, England, Germany, Ireland, Libya, Scotland, and Tunisia. Since establishing the Global Initiatives program, the College hosts annual study abroad experiences and has hosted faculty, staff, and students from around the globe.
In addition to serving the Technical College System of Georgia, Dr. Allen is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Houston Healthcare System and is a member of the Navicent Health Foundation Board. He also serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, the 21st Century Partnership, the Museum of Aviation Foundation, the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia and the CSRA, the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Middle Georgia Regional Education Service Agency, and the Middle Georgia Consortium. Most recently, he was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Dr. Allen is a native of Macon where he graduated from Mount De Sales Academy. He is a Phi Beta Kappa Graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta. He also holds a Master’s of Public Administration from Georgia College and State University and a Doctorate of Education from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Allen and his wife Danyel reside in Centerville with their three children.
Dr. Allen shared his thoughts on serving as the 2020 Festival Chair,“It’s an honor to serve as the chair of the 2020 Cherry Blossom Festival. Next year’s Festival will surely hold true to the thirty-eight year legacy of excellence that has come to be a staple in central Georgia. The 2020 Festival will create lasting memories for the families who visit us from our region, as well as those who will visit us from around the world.”
The 39th Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off March 27 and run through April 5, 2020. The Pinkest Party On Earth will feature ten days of unique experiences such as Pasta on Poplar, the Fiesta Ball, the International Parade, Food Truck Frenzy, and the Tunes and Balloons Festival Finale featuring Macon Pops. The Festival at Central City Park will deliver an outstanding nightly concert series free with paid gate admission featuring nationally touring artists both Saturdays as well as tribute bands and local favorites each night. Only offered at the Cherry Blossom Festival is our pay one price unlimited ride specials, offered every day, not just the weekdays.
President and CEO Stacy Moore explains Heroes Day at the Park, “Save the date for Heroes Day, Monday, March 30 as the Festival honors all active, retired, veteran, reserve, military and their family as well as Department of Defense civilian, along with all first responders and their family, with free admission and ride specials at Central City Park.”
For more information regarding the 2020 Cherry Blossom Festival, visit cherryblossom.com or download the app. The Festival kicks off the 2020 programming this weekend with the Little Mr. and Miss Coronation at 10 am in Porter Auditorium at Wesleyan College. The coronation for the newly redesigned Royalty Program will take place on February 20th at the Museum of Arts and Sciences. Applications are available now at cherryblossom.com for the Cherry Blossom Queen who will be chosen from regional high school seniors, the Cherry Blossom Princess, chosen from regional 8th graders, and the Legacy Queen chosen from applications 55 and older. Application requirements and an interview will decide the process for who is crowned February 20th to represent the Festival as the 2020 Official Royal Court.