Hundreds came out to enjoy a gorgeous day at the first-ever Margate Cherry Blossom Festival.By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY

MARGATE – What a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Hundreds of residents and visitors turned out Sunday afternoon for the city’s first-ever Cherry Blossom Festival held along a one-block area of Ventnor Avenue in the Parkway section in front of the Margate Community Church.

Reminiscent of the hippie days of the 1970s, people sat on blankets near the Bridal Path while others wearing their tie-dyed T-shirts and skirts danced to the music of the Grateful Dead tribute band, Dead Reckoning. The music portion of the event was sponsored by The Pet Salon.

Although the Kwansan cherry trees that line the Memorial Parkway were not in full bloom, like people coming out of hibernation, they were starting to show the signs of spring and the great summer season ahead.

“We had to do it this weekend because of all the holidays coming up, including Passover, Palm Sunday and Easter,” Margate Business Association Executive Director Anna Maria Blescia-Courter said. “But it doesn’t matter. It’s all about community and people coming together in this gorgeous weather to have fun and celebrate spring.”

The event was planned and organized by the MBA, Margate Mothers Association, Margate Community Church and Sustainable Margate.

Children lined up to take a pony ride along the bridal path, while adults lined up for tasty culinary treats and wine tastings offered by area food trucks and wineries.

Blescia-Courter said she always envisioned having a cherry blossom festival like the one they have in Cherry Hill. When Rachel Bachman of the Margate Mothers Association sent out the MBA’s annual business community survey, it included a question about having the festival and the response was an overwhelming yes.

The MBA rallied the troops, including Sustainable Margate headed by Steve Jasiecki and the Margate Community Church was all in on the idea.

“That’s what’s great about Margate. We were able to bring it together, and then Margate Recreation said they would do all the kids games,” Blescia-Courter said.

Teens helped little ones with egg and spoon, potato sack and three-legged races, while others played cornhole. Facepainting and crafts kept the children busy while their parents chatted with friends. Some older folks brought their beach chairs, which they lined up in front of the band, and man’s best friends were on parade.

Sustainable Margate hosted an environmental fair along one of the bridal paths, that included representation from the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Center, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, Surfrider Foundation Jersey Shore Chapter, Marine Mammal Stranding Center and Watershed Ambassadors. The organizations provided information about the marine life that surrounds Absecon Island, and Busy Bees NJ sold local honey and Earth First Native Plants and Nursery sold native species of garden plants.

Children were each handed a Cherry Blossom Passport to obtain stickers from every table they visited and they recorded what they learned at each stop along their tour. It was a great way to educate young people and adults about the area’s precious environment in a fun and engaging way.


Copyright Mediawize, LLC 2023

Advertise with us


Categories: Downbeach

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.