What you might not notice when you visit Greenport in the summer or fall are the hundreds of cherry trees lining village streets. But when they are in bloom in the spring, the fluffy pink and white blossoms transform the village into something magical. There is no better time to enjoy the blossoms than during the Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival.
The Greenport BID and the AgroCouncil have joined to present the Cherry Blossom Festival. This is the festival’s fifth year.
“The Cherry Blossom Festival generates local and national media coverage for our village and attracts visitors who patronize local businesses in search of blossom-inspired offerings,” according to the village webpage.
This year, the festival runs from April 29–June 12.
Run for the Petals
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off in Greenport this weekend with the Run for the Petals 5K race. The race begins at the Greenport Fire Department 3rd Street Park. The race course takes runners and walkers along some of Greenport’s most beautiful tree-lined streets, which might — fingers crossed — be in bloom. 9 a.m. start time, rain or shine. Pre-registration ($30) includes a T-shirt: elitefeats.com/23petals
Race-day registration is at 8 a.m. ($35). There is a group warm-up at 8:30 a.m. Awards will be given to the overall top three men and women, as well as top three men and women in their age group. greenportvillage.com, 631-500-0850 or 631-953-3231
Blossom Petal Tour
The Cherry Blossom Festival, created by the Greenport BID and the AgroCouncil, celebrates all things cherry blossom-inspired.
The hundreds of cherry trees in Greenport village are the highlight of the festival. Greenport has over 300 cherry trees of several varieties. The fragrant blossoms give the entire village a magical feeling in the spring.
The Cherry Blossom Petal Tour guides visitors to the trees and participating businesses. Free walking maps show the location of the trees, labeled by variety, as well as participating businesses. Local businesses offer blossom-themed refreshments and gifts. Last year, 24 businesses participated, and this year promises to be just as popular.
The self-guided walking tour can be as long or short as you like. Free maps are available at the AgroCouncil information center in the lobby of the Greenporter Hotel (326 Front St.), as well as at all participating businesses and the AgroCouncil website. For more information, visit agrocouncil.org.
The blooming of the trees spans parts of May and June, depending on the species of the tree and the weather. The varieties of cherry trees — all labeled on the map by location — include okame cherry, Yoshino cherry, snow goose cherry, sargent cherry and Kwanzan cherry. In addition to the cherry trees, Greenport is home to aristocrat pear and crabapple trees, which are also labeled on the map.
The trees are located primarily along village streets north and east of Front Street, where most of the businesses are located. The residential peninsula south of Front Street, spanning Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets, also promises to be a photographer’s delight.
Proceeds from the event are shared between the Greenport BID and the Tree Committee. The two groups collaborate to plant more trees, making the festival more colorful every year.
Greenport was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 11 prettiest towns and villages in America. The village was designated an official Tree City by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree City program was founded in 1976 to recognize and support communities that are committed to the mission of environmental change. Trees bring many benefits, including cooler temperatures, cleaner air, higher property values and healthier residents.
According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, trees provide the following benefits:
Trees help absorb the sounds of traffic in urban areas by 40%.
Neighborhoods with trees are seven to nine degrees cooler than those without.
Trees reduce energy costs up to 25% by shading buildings and protecting them from winter winds.
Homes with trees have higher property values.
Green space plays a major role in improving mental and physical health.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mitigating the effects of climate change.
As a Tree City, the village of Greenport has a Tree Committee dedicated to planting and protecting the village’s trees. (Calls for comment were not returned by press time.)
This event is a perfect way to enjoy spring while supporting the environmental commitment of Greenport.