When the Cherry City Music Festival became its own event in 2009, cherry blossom season became the backdrop for Hip Hop on the Capitol Mall, a Saturday afternoon concert performed on the Capitol steps. A tribute to the original Cherry Blossom Festival in Salem, the celebration of local music would invite people outside and signal the start of springtime.
The effort proved challenging. While the weather usually agreed, early April blooms were rare. One year, explicit lyrics reached the Saturday Salem Market three blocks to the north. Another year, it snowed. Last year, we were lucky enough to test out two new stages and drew kids warming up for the prom. But it is more miss than hit. And now that the Cherry Blossom season has a dedicated event again, it’s time to move the music festival dates.
In tribute to the 1903 Cherry Fair, which featured ripe cherries, the 2017 Cherry City Music Festival moves to June 15, 16, 17 in multiple venues throughout Salem. Sign up to play and or help plan the event. Look for more updates on the website or on Facebook.