Cherry Blossom Festival Draws Celebs to Marshfield

By Chris Eidson

Published 04/24 2014 07:37PM

Updated 04/24 2014 10:17PM

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- Thursday marks the start of the 9th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield.

The annual genealogy gathering boasts a variety of special guests.

It's definitely an eclectic weekend meant to celebrate history and Americana.

We visited their traditional first day activity, an afternoon tea, where Princess Diana's former butler was the special guest.

"I had the good fortune to play a character called Charlene Darling on the Andy Griffith Show," Special guest and actress Maggie Peterson said.

She's a repeat guest at the Cherry Blossom Festival.

"Nicholas called me five years ago, I've been here five times, and asked me to be the Ambassador to Mayberry," she said.

She is joined by a variety of other figures, including descendants of 26 American presidents.

"And they all have family stories to tell so it's very interesting," she said.

This whole festival started nine years ago with the planting of the first cherry blossom tree in Marshfield.

Founder Nicholas Inman wanted to bring a piece of Washington D.C. here to the Ozarks.

His idea bloomed into a unique celebration of history.

"It grew from cherry blossoms and D.C. and history and our government and so we thought well if we're going to plant all these trees we might as well have a cherry blossom festival," he said.

And nine years later, he said the weekend has turned into a reunion of sorts.

"One family has the Truman room and the Roosevelt room in their house and that's where those presidential descendants stay and have for nine years," he said.

From former First Lady Laura Bush, to actors, and politicians.

"How do you sum that up? I say wonderful. That's the only way I can think to describe a weekend like that. There's something for everybody," Inman said.

There are events in Marshfield all day Friday and Saturday.

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