By: Lauren T. Agnew
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. outlined the schedule of events for the 47th annual Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival on Friday, March 24th.
The festival will be held from Saturday, April 1st to Sunday, April 16th, highlighting the blooming season of the 5,200 Cherry Blossom trees. The County Executive also welcomed Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ as the Premiere Sponsor.
“The natural beauty of the cherry blossoms has attracted visitors to the park since they were first planted there in the late 1920s.
The festival has helped unify the community, highlighted the benefits of Branch Brook Park and the local neighborhood, and enabled the public to enjoy the blooming trees in a variety of ways,” DiVincenzo said.
“We invite the public to come out and enjoy our display of 5,200 trees, which is larger than the national display in Washington, DC, and the most diverse collection in the world,” he added.
“We have an exciting line-up of activities where visitors can admire the beauty of the trees, learn about the history of our Parks System and engage in Japanese cultural demonstrations.
The blossoming trees create a pink and white canopy that is perfect for picnics, photographs and simple enjoyment,” the Executive said. “We also want to welcome Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ as our premiere sponsor. The support we receive from our corporate neighbors is instrumental in helping us stage activities that highlight the natural beauty of our parks and engage the community,” he added.
“On behalf of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, we are proud to be once again sponsoring the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival.
Our mission is to empower people to maintain their best health and encourage them to enjoy this incredible display in Branch Brook Park, which is part of that mission,” said Filomena Machleder, Senior Program Officer with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
“What we are doing here is creating economic opportunity for our small business community.
We are thankful for all the work being done by the County Executive to steward the land and welcome all the visitors who come here to celebrate life’s precious moments,” said Branch Brook Park Alliance Executive Director Thomas Dougherty.
“It is extraordinary to see the volume of people who come to enjoy Branch Brook Park this time of year. W should never take for granted this extraordinary open space,” Senate Majority Leader Teresa Ruiz said.
“Growing up, it was a treat to come to the park and experience the beauty of the trees. Now I get to see all the splendor and the tens of thousands of people who visit from my front porch.
Thank you to Joe DiVincenzo for making Branch Brook Park a great destination,” Newark North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos said.
Commissioner Patricia Sebold said her son was traveling to Washington, DC, and was looking forward to seeing the national display. “I told him that meant nothing because we have more cherry blossom trees right here in Essex County Branch Brook Park,” she said.
“We are the cherry blossom capital of the world. The beauty of the trees put us on the map. People are amazed that thousands of people travel to Branch Brook Park each day to view our cherry blossoms,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.
“We love what the cherry blossom display does for Belleville and the surrounding areas. It brings people into our community and helps with our local economy,” Belleville Mayor Michael Melham said.