Chair of Cherry Blossom Fest on Ferro's departure

Jake Ferro asked to resign

The Pinkest Party on Earth lost its president on Tuesday. Festival chair, Stacy Ingram, says former CEO and president Jake Ferro was asked to resign.

"It was a personnel issue we can't discuss right now," said.

Ingram declined to give further details, but says the board wishes him the best of luck.

"There was a difficult time several years ago, and he turned things around financially for us, and we really appreciate that," said Ingram.

She says the board hopes to announce an interim CEO early next week, who will lead them through the 2017 festival.

"It was just a name that was submitted to our executive board and it was a resounding yes, this would be wonderful, someone already familiar with the festival," said Ingram.

The festival's financial records say the festival turned a profit last year in 2015, after the previous three lost more than a half million dollars in total.

Life-long Maconites say they've seen the festival change. Dustin Murdock says he's attended at least 15 Cherry Blossom Festivals.

"In the past five years, it certainly has dwindled," said Murdock. "Certain events maintain good attendance, but especially on the music end, the attendance has gotten very low."

Tavia Henderson owns Southern Touch Tours. She says she's been involved with the festivals for years.

"The events that they had didn't only speak to the local people, they spoke to the people coming in to be tourists," said Henderson.

She's confident festival leadership can turn the next festival around.

"We can be like a phoenix, and rise out of the ashes," said Henderson.

13WMAZ tried reaching out to Jake Ferro for comment several times, but was unable to reach him.

Festival financial records say Ferro's salary last year was $82,000.


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