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The Cherry Blossom Festival is thrilled to announce programming updates for the Veterans Day Parade in Macon-Bibb County on November 5 at 3 p.m. Enjoy patriotic themed floats, military units, marching bands and more as we honor our hometown heroes. Guests should plan to arrive early to experience the roar of a F-15 flyover to kick off the parade. We’re thankful to Robins Air Force Base, the 339th Flight Test Squadron & the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group for their support. Additional information about a test flyover is forthcoming.

Additionally, attendees should note that the route will be different this year. It will begin at MLK Jr. Blvd. and Cherry St., as normal, but the route will turn right onto Second St. before ending on Mulberry St. Sign ups for the parade close this Sunday, October 22, so if your organization, school, church or business would like to participate, please visit for more information.

Grand Marshal Announced 
The Festival is also excited to announce that Patricia Ross will serve as the Grand Marshal for the parade. In November 2021, Patricia Ross was selected as the Commissioner of Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS), supporting Georgia’s almost 700,000 veterans and their families. GDVS provides both federal and state benefits counseling based on military service, operates two state veteran cemeteries and two skilled nursing facilities. GDVS is responsible for veterans receiving $3.8B in compensation and pension annually from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior to her appointment as Commissioner, she established The Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center (VECTR Center) and served as Chief Operating Officer from 2016 – 2021. The Georgia VECTR Center provides accelerated training in high demand and strategic industries, career counseling, academic advising, employment assistance, entrepreneurship, and in partnership with other state, federal, and community agencies, provides a one-stop-shop to help meet veterans needs. Ross also served as the first Director of Military Affairs for the Technical College System of Georgia from 2014 – 2016 where she led state-wide initiatives to expand educational benefits and opportunities for military students at Georgia’s 22 public technical colleges.  After 25 years on active duty in the United States Air Force, Ross retired as a Colonel in October 2014.

Ross received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Tampa, Florida; a master’s degree in systems engineering management from St. Mary’s University, Texas; and a master’s degree in military operational arts and science from the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. She is also a graduate of the Air War College. Ross is also currently pursuing her Ed.D in leadership from Valdosta State University.

She and her husband Scott (also retired Air Force) have four adult children.

About the Cherry Blossom Festival:

Founded by Carolyn Crayton in 1982, Macon, Georgia’s International Cherry Blossom Festival works to enhance the quality of life, community fellowship, and civic pride of all Macon and Middle Georgia residents through the encouragement, development, and coordination of selected recreational, cultural, educational and social activities.  Through each activity the Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the Macon and Middle Georgia community by honoring “Love, Beauty, and International Friendship.”

The 2024 Festival will take place March 15-24, 2024. For programming and more information visit

Please contact Hannah Theus at with any inquires.