The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be celebrating its 55th year on the weekends of April 9-10 and 16-17 from 11am-6pm. It is set to take place at Japantown Peace Plaza in San Francisco.
The popular festival features plenty of Japanese cultural performances, a Grand Parade, traditional art, live music, food, and much more. There’s also typically a Cherry Blossom Queen Program, a tradition that has spanned 5 decades at the SF festival.
Some standout exhibitions include the Paper Tree origami exhibit, tea ceremonies at the East Mall, bonsai, and shodo/calligraphy. You can see the preliminary schedule of events here.
The enormous festival started back in 1968 and typically welcomes 220,000 visitors each year to celebrate Japanese culture and enjoy the gorgeous pastel pink bloom. It’s one of the largest festivals of its kind outside of Japan, second only to Washington, D.C.’s, and takes place in one of the country’s few remaining Japantowns.
After World War II, there remained only 3 officially-designated Japantowns in the United States. Many Japanese Americans resettled in San Francisco’s Japantown, where Japanese culture, cuisine, and history continues to be honored to this day. The Northern California Cherry Blossom began in May 1968 following the opening of the Japan Trade Center (now Japan Center Malls). Since then, it has endured as a celebration of Japanese culture and a fruitful way to revitalize the neighborhood’s economy.
Learn more at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival website, and be sure to mark your calendar for April 9-10 and 16-17 from 11am-6pm at Japantown Peace Plaza.
Featured image: Photo by Eddie Hernandez on Shutterstock