Cherry Blossom Festival Showcases Japanese Culture

By Sarah Bain ’18 and Usman Sultan’18

The Cherry Blossom Festival is an event that celebrates Japanese culture and helps people embrace the upcoming spring. The festival is typically held near the end of April. This year it was held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, and Sunday, April 30, 2017 at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The price to enter the event was $25.

A great number of people attended the festival. The area was crowded with lots of excitement in the air. One of the biggest themes at the event was cosplaying, which is when many dress up as their favorite movie character, TV character, most often in anime or manga costumes. For example, one of the people who attended the event was dressed as Hinata Hyuga from the popular show Naruto. The costumes were sights to be seen as some of these cosplayers really outdid themselves.

Elena Dupont, one of the people who attended the event said, “Everybody looks so cool. I wish I dressed up as well.”

The activities at the festival came with many options. When you first enter through the front gate, there are many small shops set up. These shops sold accessories such as Japanese clothing like kimonos, small pillows with designs, hair bow pins, and Japanese cuisine. Other shops taught people how to draw mangas and gave people more knowledge of the Japanese culture.

Sandie Souffrant ‘18, another attendee said, “I found all the shops to be very interesting. The shops really had me wanting to see what else the festival will present!”

Also, the event had two stages set up for different performances. One stage had a comedian who performed in front of a crowd of people. Laughter was loud there, and the comedian kept performing to keep the audience engaged. On the other stage, Japanese performers were on stage providing a concert for a crowd of viewers. People sat under the trees where blossoms were falling and watched the show. Towards the middle of the show, people were brought on stage to perform and dance along with the performers.

Mickey Tanning, an adult at the event said, “The show was really amazing. I’m really glad I came with my daughter and the food is great.”

At the end of the event, there was a parade. Classical Japanese music filled the atmosphere and dancers were aligned and performing their way to the entrance of the festival. Crowds gathered around to see what was going on and were immediately drawn into the movement, some people even dancing along. The parade closed down the event, and many people left with smiles on their faces looking forward to next year.

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