2013 CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVALS
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri
- Date: Saturday, April 27th and Sunday, 28th, 2013 10am to 6pm
- Venue: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
990 Washington Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225 (near parking lot)
or 150 Eastern Parkway (near subways)
Brooklyn Botanical Garden will hold its very popular Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossom Festival), full of live Japanese musical and dance performances, ikebana and tea ceremony demonstrations, plus many arts and crafts activities for children which include origami and manga drawing workshops. The largest cherry blossom festival in the Tri-State Area, more than 60,000 visitors visit the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Sakura Matsuri each year.
The Brooklyn Botanical Garden planted its first cherry trees in 1921 and BBG visitors can now enjoy more than 220 Japanese flowering cherry trees of more than 25 different kinds. These include "Kanzan,” the double-headed cherry blossom, and "Okame," the more delicate light pink cherry blossom, among many others which line the Cherry Esplanade and are found throughout the BBG.
Founded in 1910, major attractions at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden include a Bonsai Museum and the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first public Japanese garden in the United States, which was designed by landscape architect Takeo Shiota and completed in 1915.
Japanese American Association Sakura Matsuri
- Date: Saturday, April 20th, 2013
- Venue: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The Japanese American Association (JAA) of New York hosts its 9th annual cherry blossom festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park this year. The donations of 168 cherry trees by JAA to New York City in April 2001 have made this festival possible, with co-sponsorship by the New York City Department of Park & Recreation.
Branch Brook Park Sakura Matsuri Bloomfest
- Date: Sunday, April 14 th, 2013 11am to 5pm
- Venue: Branch Brook Park, 115 Clifton Avenue, Newark, NJ 07104
Branch Brook Park in Essex County, NJ celebrates its 37th annual Cherry Blossom Festival in 2013. 4,000 cherry trees of 14 different species grace this park, of which 2,000 were donated by Caroline Bamberger Fuld in 1927. The Cherry Blossom Festival is hosted by Essex County in partnership with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) New York Chapter.
White Plains Sakura Matsuri
- Date: Sunday, April 28th, 2013 12pm to 5pm
- Venue: Turnure Park, White Plains
26 Lake Street, White Plains, NY 10601
The White Plains Recreation and Parks Department and the Niji No Kai Japanese Education Center will join together to host the Cherry Blossom Festival at Ternure Park. Surrounded by more than 60 gorgeous blooming trees, this is a beautiful setting for traditional Japanese music, dance, storytelling, games and crafts for people of all ages.
Sakura Matsuri / Cherry Blossom Festival - Mill River Park
- Date: Sunday, May 5th, 2013 11am to 2pm
- Venue: Mill River Park, Stamford, Connecticut
Newly renovated Mill River Park will host its Sakura Matsuri on April 20th, an event hosted by the Japan Society of Fairfield County and The Mill River Collaborative. The park is under drastic renovation and it features There will be a food court, Japanese sake-tasting and Manga & Anime display amongst cherry tree walks featuring one hundred newly planted and transplanted cherry trees. Japan Society provides demonstrations of tea ceremony and kimono-dressing, as well as origami and sumie (brush painting) workshops.
Roosevelt Island Sakura Matsuri
- Date: Saturday, April 13th, 2013 10am to 6:30pm
- Venue: Southpoint Park on Main Street, Roosevelt Island
This year’s Cherry Blossom Festival on Roosevelt Island focuses on Japanese food and sake, in addition to traditional Japanese musical performances, origami classes, tea ceremony and karate demonstrations by children. The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) started hosting their First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in 2011 amongst their abundance of cherry blossom trees on the island.
Randall's Island Park Alliance Cherry Blossom Festival
- Date: Saturday, April 20th, 2013 10am to 12pm
- Venue: The Urban Farm, Randall's Island Park, Wards Meadow Loop, Field 62,
New York, NY 10035
The Randall’s Island presents its inaugural Park Alliance Cherry Blossom Festival at its Urban Farm. Highlights include Shino Takeda’s demonstration of how to make cherry blossom salt, and cherry blossom tea tastings. The entire family is invited to participate in several fun crafts: face painting, making a cherry blossom tree with tissue paper, creating tissue paper flowers, “fan-tastic” fans stamped with cherry blossoms and calligraphy. All participants will receive a map of the cherry blossom trees on Randall’s Island, plus a recipe for cherry blossom salt.
Long Island Sakura Matsuri at Stony Brook University
- Date: Saturday, May 4th, 2013
- Venue: Wang Center at Stony Brook University, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11790
Long Island hosts its very own Cherry Blossom Festival at Stony Brook University, where it demonstrates Japanese cultural traditions such as tea ceremony, Ikebana and traditional Japanese music.
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
- Date: Sakura Sunday, April 14th, 2013 10:30am to 4pm
Sakura programs ongoing from April 1st to April 26th
- Venue: Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, Montgomery Drive & Belmont Avenue(I-76 Exit 341), Philadelphia, PA 19131
“Sakura Sunday” kicks off with a Cherry Blossom 5K Run/Walk, Japanese cuisine, arts and crafts, as well as the “Prettiest Pet in Pink Parade” for dogs and the 3rd annual Harajuku Fashion Show showcasing local designers inspired by Tokyo’s Harajuku fashions. The month-long celebration of sakura is organized by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadephia as an initiative to encourage better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan in the U. S. and includes live performances of kodo drumming, music and kimono-wearing, as well as a “Blossom Bash” at the Bellevue Hyatt on April 26th.
In 1926, 1,600 flowering trees were donated by the Japanese government as a gesture of friendship and from 2007 JASGP has planted more than 1,000 such trees.
This year's festival is held from April 1st to April 26th.
BEST NYC CHERRY BLOSSOM VIEWING SPOTS
Sakura Park on Manhattan's Upper West Side
As the name indicates, Sakura Park ("Cherry Blossom Park"), located in Manhattan's Upper West Side at 122nd Street and Riverside Drive, is a historic site, with close ties to Japan.
In 1909, the Hudson Fulton Celebration was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat, as well as the 300th anniversary of English explorer Henry Hudson's discovery of the Hudson River. At the time, various events were held throughout New York State to mark these anniversaries. As part of these celebrations, the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York arranged to donate 2,000 cherry trees to what was then known as Claremont Park. Unfortunately the steamship that carried the original delivery of trees from Japan was lost en route to the U.S. Finally in 1912, three years after originally scheduled, the trees arrived and were planted in the park. The park was renamed Sakura Park.
Later, the City of New York purchased Sakura Park from John D. Rockefeller, who owned the land. It was redesigned and reopened to the public in 1934. This was in part made possible by contributions from the Rockefeller family.
In 1960, to celebrate the sister city ties between Tokyo and New York, H.I.H Crown Prince Akihito and H.I.H Crown Princess Michiko (now the Emperor and Empress of Japan) attended an official ceremony, during which a toro, or traditional stone lantern, was donated. The toro was provided by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and was placed in the northeastern corner of the park. T.I.H Crown Prince and Princess again paid a visit to the park during their sojourn through the United States in 1987.
In 1981, Sakura Park underwent renovations when new cherry trees were planted, and a pavilion, used as a performance space for the Manhattan School of Music, was constructed. Hideo Nomoto, the Consul General of Japan in New York at the time attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony held in 1986.In his remarks he stated, "The people of Japan as well as New Yorkers can once again enjoy cherry trees in Sakura Park, a tranquil island located on Manhattan, an island that never rests." http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/M087/highlights/6522
Central Park, a place of rest and relaxation for New Yorkers, is the home of many cherry trees. Scores of them are located around the reservoir, turning it into a ring of soft pink blossoms each spring, but cherry trees can be seen and enjoyed throughout the park. Japan Day @Central Park, which has been held annually since 2007, has ensured the planting of ever more cherry trees in the park.
New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx
The New York Botanical Garden has more than 200 cherry trees. "Cherry Valley" near the Rose Garden has become a highlight, as well as the Reflecting Pool near the Visitor Center.