NEWARK - Sunny skies and warm weather brought thousands to Branch Brook Park today for Newark's annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

Newark has hosted the festival for the past 38 years, marking the beginning of spring in the city. The festival also featured a performance from the all-high school jazz ensemble the Brick City Orchestra.

Essex County Executive Joe Divencenzo says the park has more than 4,000 cherry blossom trees and the county plans to add another 700 next year.