The festive highlight of the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival is Bloomfest, Sunday, April 23, a day of live performances and attractions in Branch Brook Park. Bloomfest 2017, will be held in Essex County Branch Brook Park, Cherry Blossom Welcome Center Extension, Belleville/Newark, on Sunday, April 23 from 11 am-5pm. Bloomfest attracts over 7,000 attendees from New Jersey and surrounding metropolitan areas for stage performances, cultural demonstrations, and children’s activities.
Enjoy a family day in New Jersey's pinkest park! A packed schedule of events includes Japanese cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food and more. See below for the event details.
Race through Branch Brook Park in the Cherry Blossom Challenge, a competitive New Jersey tradition, or cheer on the cyclists while enjoying a day in the fresh, spring air. Various races occur throughout the morning, with the first race at 7 a.m. and the last race at 12 Noon. Registration fees apply to racers. It’s free to enter the park and watch. The Cherry Blossom Challenge Bike Race will be held as follows:
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park Heller Parkway, Newark, NJ
Run through the historic cherry tree groves in this race that is sanctioned by the USATF and is Women’s Master’s Championship race. A portion of the race proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. Online registration can be done at www.compuscore.com. Same day registration begins at 8 a.m. Advanced registration is recommended. Race starts at 10 a.m. It’s free to enter the park and watch. The Cherry Blossom 10K Run will be held as follows:
Registration: 8 a.m.
10K Race: 10 a.m.
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park, Cherry Blossom Center Mill Street, Newark, NJ
Have knowledgeable guides take you on a 45-minute journey and point out over 120 years of history hidden within Essex County Branch Brook Park’s structure and design. Tours leave from the Essex County Cherry Blossom Welcome Center daily at 11 a.m., 12 Noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Transportation around the park is provided. Tickets are $5 person and can be reserved by calling 973-433-7469. Tickets also will be available for purchase in the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center on days the tours are being held. Space is limited. For group or private tour bookings, call 973-433-7469. The Trolley Tours will be held as follows:
Dates: Sunday, April 16th through Saturday, April 22nd
Times: 11 a.m., 12 Noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Welcome Center, Mill Street, Newark, NJ
Celebrate the arrival of spring and get fit with your family or friends. Children are encouraged to run individually or as a member of a school team. Schools and groups must register in advance by calling 973-268-3500. This is a free event. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt. The Fun Run and Walk will be held as follows:
Date: Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 8 a.m. Registration
10 a.m. Race
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park Southern Division, Prudential Concert Grove Newark, NJ
The public is encouraged to come out and enjoy an afternoon of family-fun with a variety of events including live performances, children’s activities, a fishing derby and more. Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase food from vendors who will be on site and enjoy the picturesque views overlooking the lake. Admission is free but food and other merchandise will be for sale. The Family Day will be held as follows:
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park Southern Division, Prudential Concert Grove, Newark, NJ
Enjoy a family day in the pink park! A packed schedule of events includes cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food and more at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center. Winners from the “Why My Essex County Park is Important to Me” essay contest for 4th graders and “Cherry Blossom Poster Contest” for 6th graders will be recognized on stage. Additional musical performances will be held at the Prudential Concert Grove. Admission is free; food and merchandise will be for sale. Bloomfest will be as follows:
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Times: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Place: Essex County Branch Brook Park
Main Areas: Cherry Blossom Center Mill Street, Newark, NJ
Second Stage: Southern Division, Prudential Concert Grove Newark, NJ
Historic Tours by Cell Phone
This free, self-guided historic walking tour can be accessed by cell phone or smart phone. Spend the day exploring all 72 tour stops or pick and choose your favorites. One call to 973-433-9047 or a scan of the bar code at each tour stop unlocks a world of park history and horticultural information.
History, driving directions, a complete list of activities and a web cam where the public can monitor the cherry trees for the peak of the bloom season can be accessed by visiting www.essexcountynj.org and clicking on the Cherry Blossom link. More information can also be obtained by calling 973-433-9047.
The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival is hosted by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. It is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ.