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The Greenport Cherry Blossom Festival and Petal Tour sees over 300 trees bloom around the village. (Photo Credit: Deborah Rivera Pittorino)

Every spring, Greenport celebrates the blooming of the fleeting cherry blossoms with a village-wide celebration. From April 29 to May 31, visitors can take a self-guided tour across Greenport village, hosted by the AgroCouncil. 

On the tour, walk amongst over 300 cherry blossom trees of seven different varieties and peruse the main and side streets of Greenport while stopping at 26 participating local businesses to purchase a cherry blossom flavored cocktail or scented soap. 

Although the festival and petal tour are relatively new ventures, cherry blossoms have signaled the arrival of spring in Greenport for over four decades, with the first cherry blossoms planted in the late 1980s by former Mayor George Hubbard Sr. 

Since then, the Greenport Village Tree Committee formed with the goal to plant, protect and maintain the trees and shrubs around the village — with cherry blossoms being a brief yet beautiful part of the year-round effort. In 2016, the Business Improvement District, AgroCouncil and Tree Committee came up with the idea to draw tourists in to see the annual blooms through a festival.

“We thought to ourselves, people always travel to Central Park the City or Washington D.C. to see the cherry blossoms bloom every year. Why not give residents an opportunity to see them in their own backyard?” said John Quinlan, a member of the Tree Committee. “Plus we knew it would be a great ecotourism opportunity for the community.” 

Over the next two years, Deborah Rivera Pittorino, founder of the AgroCouncil and Cherry Blossom Petal Tour, worked with the BID and Tree Committee as well as local shops, bars and restaurants to create the Petal Tour Map, which offers a guide to not only knowing where the trees are, but where to grab a cherry-blossom inspired appetizer, cocktail or gift to bring home. 

There are 26 businesses participating in the 2023 Cherry Blossom Festival and Petal Tour, each offering cherry blossom themed food, drinks and gifts.

“The maps are a gift that keeps on giving,” Rivera Pittorino said. “We offer the maps at different travel shows around the tri-state area and it’s been such a great way to attract people to the beautiful village of Greenport who otherwise may not know we’re here.” 

Last year, Rivera Pittorino worked with Greenport village resident and BID board member, Nicki Gohorel, to incorporate a “kick-off” 5K event. 

“Everyone rallied to make the 5K happen and we had an amazing turn out,” said Gohorel. “It turned into a community event where everyone came together to walk, run or even bike through the cherry blossoms.” 

Not only is the 5K returning this year to kickoff the month-long festival, but it also will serve as a fundraising opportunity for the AgroCouncil, BID and Tree Committee to plant and grow more trees in the years to come. 

“With this map, people are going down streets they wouldn’t necessarily always go down to see gorgeous trees,” said Rivera Pittorino. “You get to see the cute houses and gardens not on Main or Front Street. So even if the cherry blossoms are finished, or not quite blooming yet, you’re going to see all the amazing fun things in and around Greenport.” 

The event begins Saturday, April 29 with the 5K. To sign up for the 5K or see a full list of participating businesses, check out the AgroCouncil’s website.