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The 5th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival and Plant Sale will be held on Saturday, April 30 at the Riverfront Green in Peekskill.
The free festival, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine, features a plant sale, food trucks, craft vendors, raffles, and children’s activities, such as flower pot painting, seed planting, arts and crafts, games, bouncy slides, and more.
Sponsored by the Peekskill Rotary, all proceeds go back to the local community and to international projects through Rotary International.
The idea of gifting 100 cherry trees started in 2014, with a goal of planting 20 per year so that by the Peekskill Rotary Club’s 100th Anniversary on October 1, 2019, there would be 100 trees at the Riverfront. The Club sought approval for the donation by the Peekskill City Council in a letter stating, “We want to share our success with the city we call home by making a lasting contribution to the revitalization of the riverfront as we move towards Rotary’s next century of service to Peekskill.” The gift, valued at $80,000, was formally accepted by the Council on May 23, 2016.
The plan for the placement of the trees was very intentional. Planted so as not to block the views of the river, and for train commuters to see, you can find them starting behind the Lincoln Depot, along the train line, on the trail toward China Pier where the last of the 100 can be seen.
Chappy Manzer, a Rotarian, with his company Manzer’s Landscape & Design, purchased, planted, and watered the trees for the Club, at a greatly reduced cost. He chose two varieties of cherry trees, Yoshina and Kwanzan. Yoshina, also known as the Japanese flowering cherry, has a vibrant display of white-pink blossoms. Kwanzan cherry has deep pink double-blossoms and stunning leaves that change colors throughout the seasons. The two types are responsible for the spectacular blossoming show each spring in Washington, D.C.
High school students can apply to attend a free three-day class that starts on April 30 (Cherry Blossom Day) at the Riverfront. Students will l learn the technique of constructing high-quality stonework from professional instructors. More information can be found at www.peekskillrotary.com.
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