Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival Cancelled, Branch Brook Park Closed

Newark, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Freeholder President Brendan Gill, Vice President Wayne Richardson and the Board of Freeholders announced that the 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Essex County Branch Brook Park has been cancelled because of the Novel Coronavirus. In addition, the officials are alerting the public that Essex County Branch Brook Park is closed and anyone coming to the park should remain in their cars to promote social distancing.

“The Cherry Blossoms in bloom have significant meaning for us all and their spectacular blooming season annually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors. But as we take steps to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus, we are encouraging people to follow social distancing guidelines and stay out of the park. Everyone can enjoy the Cherry Blossoms in bloom again next year in 2021,” DiVincenzo, Gill and Richardson said in a joint statement.

All events that are part of the 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival have been cancelled, including:

· The Cherry Blossom Bike Races on Saturday, April 4th

· The Cherry Blossom 10K Run on Sunday, April 5th

· The Children’s Fun Run and Family Day on Saturday, April 18th

· The Bloomfest on Sunday, April 19th

All parking areas will be closed and no parking along the roadway will be permitted in Branch Brook Park. The order closing the park to the public will remain in effect, except for vehicles driving through the park.

On Monday, March 16th, DiVincenzo closed all parks, recreation facilities, parks buildings, dog parks and playgrounds – effectively closing the Parks System to eliminate the possibility of large groups of people congregating together, even if it would be outdoors.

(Photo of Okame trees from Branch Brook Park Alliance FB page)

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