May 24, 2024

Inaugural Cherry Blossom Festival Draws Hundreds

cherry blossom
Cherry Blossoms by Calm Reflections Photography

Hundreds of visitors strolled acres of green lawns amid budding spring trees this past Sunday for the inaugural ArtsPark Cherry Blossom Festival. April 9, 2017, proved a week late for the annual rite of cherry blossoms bursting into a pearly pink along the crumbling roads of the long-gone Lexington Manor neighborhood; but perfectly timed for a sunny day that filled the park-to-be with adults, children, dogs, Frisbees, and artists of all stripes and types.

The inaugural ArtsPark Cherry Blossom Festival launched a community endeavor to create a public park that provides an inviting venue for a wide array of creative endeavors — including some on display last weekend.

St. Mary’s County Community Development Corp. is spearheading the endeavors to create an ArtsPark on the Lexington Manor property — an award-winning neighborhood at construction in the 1940s, but dilapidated and razed as this century opened.

Left behind are 80 acres of lawns and forest; 50 acres at the end of Coral Drive hold an 18-basket disc golf course and a walk-able network of roads off limits to vehicles. The upper 30-plus acres run along Coral Drive below the Lexington Park Post Office.

The first step is to assure the continued health of the cherry trees, replace and add to the collection so to keep this unique beauty in the ArtsPark.

The next step is to open the upper 30 acres to greater community access with lighting and a bicycle/pedestrian path opening to Willows Road.

Supporting the St. Mary’s Community Development Corporation’s initial efforts are these community partners:

Southern Maryland Animal Welfare League (SMAWL), Three Notch Theatre and The Newtowne Players, St. Mary’s County Arts Council, United Committee for Afro-American Contributions, Southern Maryland Disc Golf Association, St. Mary’s County Recreation and Parks, Power Jam Music Alliance, Great Mills High School Hornets Marching Band, SMYOC Pops Band, Robin Santiago, St. Maries Musica, St. Peter Claver Gospel Choir, St. Peter Claver Dance Ministry, the College of Southern Maryland, and the United Way of St. Mary’s County.

And these ArtsPark Cherry Blossom Festival sponsors:

Cedar Point Federal Credit Union, Ballet Caliente, Old Line Bank, Showtime Deli, Dean Lumber & Supply, Frazen Realtors, Barbara and Glen Ives, St. Mary’s County Housing Authority, the Southern Maryland Heritage Area, Air Corps Embroidery, and members of St. Mary’s Community Development Corp.

For more about the St. Mary’s County Community Development Corporation, visit its Leader member page.

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