Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cherry Blossom Festival Tomorrow In Philadelphia!

Why go to D.C.? Bring the camera. It’s all right here in Philadelphia!

The 2013 Subaru Cherry Blossom of Festival of Greater Philadelphia
Blooms with Day-long Festivities 
on Sunday, April 14

Presented by The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia

10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

* Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Ensemble from Japan *
* Kite-making, origami, calligraphy and Japanese flower-arranging *
* Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade * Japanese festival foods * Martial arts demonstrations *

Schedule for the Day … Parking in the park or at Mann Center with shuttle busses – lots of signage to direct you.

·       10:15 AM- Opening of Sakura Sunday with ceremonial banging of the drum
·       10:30 AM - Opening Ceremony/Tree Planting
·       11:15 AM - Tamagawa University Taiko Drum & Dance
·       12:15 PM - Harajuku Fashion Show- by Old City boutique US*U.S.
·       1:30 PM  - Japanese Pop Rock group Magverry
·       3:00 PM - Prettiest Pet in Pink Contest Winners
·       3:15 PM - Tamagawa University Taiko Drum & Dance

·       11 AM and 12:30 PM – Tea Ceremony
·       11:45 AM and 1:15 PM -  Ikebana Demo (Japanese Flower Arranging)

·       11AM – 3PM – Martial Arts Demos

·       10:30AM TO 3:30 PM – Karaoke and Fashion

·       10:30AM TO 3:30 PM – Interactive crafts, games, shiatsu massage

It promises to be a rich feast for all of the senses, when the 2013 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival explodes with excitement on Sunday, April 14 in Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park, along Montgomery Drive near Belmont Avenue. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia is organized by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) and celebrates Philadelphia’s rich cultural connections with the art, music, food, natural beauty and industry of Japan.  From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., the signature of the festival --Sakura Sunday -- is celebrated for the 16th time in Philadelphia, with an outdoor extravaganza of music, dance, festival foods, craft, culture, sport and even pets in pink! Admission to the Sakura Sunday festival is $5, with children under 14 admitted free. Beginning the day is the Cherry Blossom 5K, winding runners and walkers under lanes of ornamental cherry trees, through the historic Centennial District past Memorial Hall and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. For details visit,

The lanes of ornamental trees swaying with pink and white sakura, the Japanese name for cherry blossoms, were originally planted in West Fairmount Park in 1926 as a gift to the city by the nation of Japan during the year of the nation’s Sesquicentennial Exhibition. A variety of stages and displays on the festival grounds will showcase a vast array of colorful performances, authentic food and crafts, with experiences that offer beauty, interactivity and imagination. Photographers will find something great to frame up in every direction throughout the day.  Examples include:

  • The thundering percussion and visually stunning costumes of the Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Ensemble from Japan are an annual highlight and an example of the world-class performers featured on the festival stages throughout the day.
  • Kite-making, origami, calligraphy and the art of flower-arranging known as Ikebana offer many opportunities for hands-on experiences with the applied arts of Japan.
  • Vendors of modern Japanese festival foods introduce the adventurous to new flavors and demonstrate the many tasty ways that Japanese delicacies go far beyond sushi!
  • A pet-friendly event for those who bring their four-legged friends on leads and leashes, the annual Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade promises an overload of adorableness.
  • A variety of martial arts demonstrations offer inspiring displays of physical power steeped in Japanese tradition.
  • Tours of the spectacular Shofuso Japanese House and Garden adjacent to the festival grounds are available during Sakura Sunday. An additional entry fee is charged for those tours.
  • Title sponsor Subaru will showcase their brand new 2014 Subaru Forester model.

Sakura Sunday events are held rain or shine. Paid parking for the event is located at the Mann Music Center with shuttle service to the event (handicap accessible). There is also regular shuttle service between Center City and the Horticulture Center, which departs from the Union League of Philadelphia at Broad and Sansom Streets.

The Cherry Blossom 5K begins early with an 8 am start time (registration opening at 7 a.m.) for runners and walkers. Fees are $20 for JASGP members / $25 for non-members / $30 on-site, cash only.  Registration and information is available on the event festival website and through

Philadelphia’s Horticultural Center is located in West Fairmount Park at Montgomery Drive and Belmont Avenue (I-76 Exit 341), Philadelphia, PA 19131. Up to the minute program changes can be viewed on the festival website and event information is available by calling 215-790-3810. 

The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia is a project of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP), with tremendous support from Subaru of America, Inc as title sponsor. The project aims to foster a better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan building on the JASGP commitment to plant and maintain cherry trees in local parks. To date, JASGP has planted more than 1,000 cherry trees, supplementing the 1,600 flowering trees presented by the Japanese government as a gesture of friendship in 1926. Upon completion of its 1,000-tree pledge in 2007, the JASGP shifted its focus to plantings in community and neighborhood parks to help green and beautify urban communities. Since 2008, cherry trees have been planted in Clark Park, Franklin Square, and Morris Park.

About the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP): Founded in 1994, the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia is an association of individuals, corporations and organizations devoted to fostering relationships between Americans and Japanese by promoting and encouraging better understanding of the business, cultural, social, educational, and political practices and customs of Japan and the United States.

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