When you think of Missouri, cherry blossoms aren't necessarily the first thing that jumps to mind. You might think of our bipolar weather, Mark Twain, or Harry Truman. Don't forget about the mention of Missouri's famous president, you'll want to remember it later, but back to cherry blossoms. Marshfield, Mo. is home to a three day cherry blossom festival in April. It started as a project in 2003 by Marshfield resident Nicholas W. Inman, who had spent time in Washington D.C. and wanted to bring some of it to his hometown.
Missouri First Lady Lori Houser Holden, wife of former (2001 to 2005) Missouri Governor Bob Holden planted the first cherry tree. Since then Missouri's first ladies have been planting cherry trees in Marshfield as part of the tradition thanks to the tradition of First Ladies planting the trees at the capitol.
"Soon the cherry blossom project spread throughout the city. Numerous dignitaries have visited to plant trees including; Jerry Jones (Owner of the Dallas Cowboys), Jean Carnahan (Former Missouri First Lady and United States Senator), Pat Wilson (Former Missouri First Lady), Betty Hearnes (Former Missouri First Lady), John and Hilda Lane (nephew of Dr. Edwin P. Hubble), Lesley Kays (Webster County Sesquicentennial Queen) along with several group plantings," the Cherry Blossom Festival's website said.
Remember when I said to remember the president? There was a good reason for that. Marshfield was also home to the National First Family Library and Museum.
"An announcement ceremony for the museum/library was held at the first Cherry Blossom Festival with descendants of 26 American Presidents in attendance. The mission of the library/museum is to focus on the lives of the American First Families and to educate visitors on their contributions to history," The Cherry Blossom Festival's website said.
Unfortunately, the location of the museum was closed in 2012, but the items from the exhibit are still on display every year during the Cherry Blossom Festival at the Webster County Museum and descendants of first families attend the festival each year.
Descendants of first families aren't the only dignitaries to be present at the festival, this year, Lynne Jackson, great-great granddaughter of Dred Scott will be a VIP guest hosting the Dred and Harriet Scott Reconciliation Forum.
Additionally, a number of artists and performers will be in attendance to put on performances such as John Schneider, Jordan Wood, Isaac Kenneth, LuLu Roman, Randy and Mary Travis, and Uncle Si and the Sicotics.
The kick-off concert will benefit the Randy Travis Foundation and tickets will be available beginning Presidents' Day. The concert will be April 25th at the Marshfield Community Center at 6:30 p.m. before the official start of the festival the next day.
If you go....
When: April 26, 27, 28 2018
Where: Marshfield, Mo.
For more information visit: https://www.cherryblossomfest.com/WordPress/