While there has been a bit of news of borders opening up in Japan, it hasn’t quite reached the point where the country is fully open. It’s another Japanese sakura spring that we have to miss. But not to worry, for those living in the US, there are a few sakura events that you can go to in place of it.
In this article, we list five of the many sakura events in the US. Keep reading to see which ones can be found in your city or an area near you!
National Cherry Blossom Festival (Washington, DC)
One of the most popular sakura events is the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. This festival is run by a non-profit organisation and features a few events, exhibits and even performances related to cherry blossoms as well as US-Japan relations. You will get your fill of fireworks, concerts and parades at this festival.
As the festival doesn’t take place on just one day but a few weeks, there’s hope the cherry blossoms will bloom during the festival. This year, DC’s cherry blossom reached peak bloom on March 21st 2022.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20th to April 17th. Key events include Kite Festival on March 26th, the Parade on April 9th, Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival on April 9th and 10th, and the PetalPalooza on April 16th.
More information on the official website: https://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org
Sakura Taiko Fest 2022 (Washington, DC)
This next sakura event was on hiatus for two years, but is now up and running again. On March 26th, the Sakura Taiko Fest 2022 will have a full day of drumming, including performances by Kyo Daiko, River City Taiko, Nen Daiko and Dounen Daiko, Miyako Taiko, MHTX and students in the Mark H Taiko School.
This event started out as a small concert held in a dance studio for free, giving opportunities for taiko groups to showcase their taiko styles and celebrate Japanese-American culture.
Below is the event schedule:
12:00pm: Welcome and opening!
12:10pm: Mark H Taiko Intermediate Styles Class
12:20pm: Mark H Taiko Recreational Taiko Class
12:30pm: Audience Participation!
1:00pm: River City Taiko
1:45: Miyako Taiko
2:30pm: Kyo Daiko
3:15pm: Nen Daiko & Dounen Daiko
4:00pm: Audience Participation!
4:45pm: Mixed ensemble finale – Shin-En
For those unable to attend, there is even a livestream that you can tune in to on the day: https://youtu.be/ed6KK0rOK30
Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival (Long Island)
This festival welcomes spring to Long Island with the blooming of sakura and taiko drum performances. Sakura Matsuri: Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on May 7th at the Wang Center.
The Wang Center is a place that offers activities like Japanese traditional dances, martial arts demonstrations, ikebana flower arrangements, tea workshops, cosplay, calligraphy and more. Join the event for all of these while welcoming spring!
Oh, and one more thing: guests are encouraged to come in their favourite manga character costume!
More information can be found at: https://ryushukan.com/cherry-blossom-festival-sakura-matsuri-home/
Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival (Buffalo)
Coming back in 2022 as well after a long hiatus, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park and The Buffalo History Museum is bringing back the Buffalo Cherry Blossom! Kicking it off on April 28th is the fundraiser for the festival, featuring a basket raffle, refreshments, as well as performances including cellist and multi-genre artist Leah Rankin and indie rock duo tuesday nite.
The festival itself will be on April 30th to May 1st at Delaware Park. Check this link for more up-to-date information come the time: https://www.buffalocherryblossomfestival.org
41st Annual Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival (Georgia)
Marking 41 years of the event, the 41st Annual Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate the generations that have shaped this celebration on March 26th and 27th. The festival has been awarded tons of awards over the years, including Best Event in the Southeast, as well as selected as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast.
There will be performances from acts including Ricky Gunter and Mary Kate Farmer. There’s also the Miss Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival, canvas painting kits, children’s art walk, a dog show and more.
Plus, it’s free admission! More information can be found here: https://www.georgiahorsepark.com/p/calendar-of-events/conyers-cherry-blossom-festival
Find Public Events in Your Area!
These listed are just a few out of the dozens of festivals happening in the US for sakura. If you do a quick Google search, not only are there festivals, but there are also so many open, free-admission public events organised by the people. While it may not be a full festival with performances, there are those who organise walks, picnics, gatherings and parties.