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Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival: Spring Has Sprung!

"This is our third year and it has grown each year as we have 400 trees in one square mile," John Quinlan revealed. (Courtesy Photo)

The residents of the historic village of Greenport are happy to announce the annual Cherry Blossom Festival to be held May 1 through May 15. Since the entire blooming period up to its peak can last just 14 days and blooming can start mid-April, there is still ample time for everyone to view these magnificent blooms in a beautiful setting, as Greenport has been designated a Tree City USA locale.

John Quinlan, Chairman of the Village of Greenport Tree Committee, indicated this is the third year of the Festival as presented by the AgroTourism Council, who is involved for the first time this year, and co-sponsored by the Greenport Business Improvement District. Greenport Village absorbs the cost for planting and maintenance of the trees which can exceed $10,000 a year.

Quinlan, who has been the leader of the committee for the past 12 years, relayed, "We have maps that indicate the business areas, but we really want people to see the blooms in the residential areas as well, along Fifth and Sixth Streets too. Peconic Landing has mini buses taking people around the streets and that is exciting."

Blooms include the Kwanzan Cherry, Aristocrat Pear, Okame Cherry, Yoshino Cherry, Crabapple Cherry, Snow Goose Cherry, and Sargent Cherry. An informative Petals and Pub Tour map is also available indicating street names where one might view each particular blossom where the trees are mapped out, as well as names of participating merchants and restaurants where you can sit, dine, rest and replenish before continuing, thus making this walking tour easy to accomplish at your own comfortable pace. Some may offer a special cocktail too!

"We are very positive about this treasure we have for residents and guests to our village to enjoy. This is our third year and it has grown each year as we have 400 trees in one square mile," Quinlan revealed.

The Japanese word for cherry blossom is sakura, and in the Japanese culture "The cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It's a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short." The typical lifespan of a cherry tree is only 16 to 20 years, although there are some exceptions, and full bloom can be less than one week.

The connection with sakura runs deep in Greenport, thanks in most part to the efforts of former mayor George Hubbard, Sr., whose son, George, Jr. is the current mayor. Hubbard, Sr. formed a tree committee and began the plantings back in the 1980's. He passed away in 2007, and served on the committee for more than three decades.

The blooming period is very short so take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to view full blocks of riotous colors as yet another glorious display courtesy of Mother Nature with the help of some dedicated Greenport Village officials, homeowners and shop owners show that it truly does take a village to make this annual event a joyous and festive occasion.

For more information go to villageofgreenport.org.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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