GET ANSWERS: Cherry Blossom Festival Profits

6:21 PM, Jun 21, 2010   |    comments
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What does the Cherry Blossom Festival do with profits, the Peyton Anderson grant and appropriations from the city of Macon?

We spoke with festival president and CEO, Karen Lambert Jordan about the festival's financial picture.

2010's Cherry Blossom Festival saw some differences compared to recent years. The rain didn't stop any events and Lambert says the festival's revenue increased.

"As everyone in Macon knows who loves the festival and comes to the festival, we had a couple of very difficult years because of the rain," she said.


According to festival's IRS 990 forms, the 2006 festival year raked in $25,171. For 2007, Cherry Blossom saw red, taking a hit of $-43,987. In 2008 the trend continued dropping even more to $-125,755.

The 2009 form isn't available right now, but Lambert says the revenue falls in the $20,000 dollar range.
For 2010, she expects that number to jump to around $130,000.

"We had a much better year," said Lambert smiling.

She says some of the money brought in from the festival goes to put planning for the next year.

"A portion will go back into fund for a rainy day because you can bet we will have rainy days again in March," she explained.

The rest of the money goes to expenses that keep the festival office running year round.
Lambert says they're already planning 2011's festival and that can require money to book attractions and talent for events.

According to Lambert, neither the city of Macon, nor Bibb County gives money to the Cherry Blossom Festival, but she says they do receive an appropriation from hotel-motel tax revenues.

The $250,000 thousand dollar Peyton Anderson grant awarded to the festival comes with some rules. Lambert says that money allows the festival to do research on how to improve the events, attract more visitors, and grow.

"It is our goal to focus on the wonderful things of our community, plus our hospitality and to showcase it to everybody," said Lambert.

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