Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is in Bloom in Philadelphia

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Despite the unusual weather patterns Philadelphia has had this spring, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia has arrived just in time to celebrate the season. The festival is an annual event celebrating spring, Japanese culture, and of course, the cherry blossoms.

The festivities kicked off last Saturday and will be running throughout the city until next Monday. Some of this years events include martial arts, arts and crafts like origami and suminagashi paper marbling, Kabuki dance classes, sushi making, kimono dressing, manga pin making, Taiko Drum and Dance performances, and more.

For those looking to get some exercise while enjoying the festivities, the 2018 Cherry Blossom 10k will be at 6:30 AM on Saturday the 14th. This year is the first time the festival will feature a Sake garden at Shofuso House and Garden in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia’s take on the Japanese tradition of picnics under the cherry trees.

The Cherry Blossom festival’s main day of celebration, Sakura Sunday, is an all day celebration of all things Japanese. Sakura Sunday is an indoor and outdoor event that features over 50 vendors, and three stages showcasing music, dance, and martial arts performances as well as cosplay showcases, fashion shows, karaoke, and more. Some of the artists include Tamagawa University’s Taiko Drum and Dance Troupe returning from Tokyo, folk singer Aco Tomine, J-rock band “The Molice,”  and the J-MUSIC ensemble. Sakura Sunday will take place from 10 AM to 5 PM this Sunday at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park.

The festival began in 1998 as a tree planting initiative by the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia, and has grown from a single day ceremony to a collection of over 50 throughout the course of four weeks.  The festival’s roots date back to 1926, when Japan gifted Philadelphia 1,600 sakura (flowering Japanese cherry trees). The JASGP returned the favor in 1998 when they pledged to plant 1,000 trees in Fairmount Park, which was completed by 2007 and has expanded into an effort to plant cherry trees in community parks across Philadelphia.

For more information on this years festival, you can visit the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival’s official website at http://www.subarucherryblossom.org.

City of Brotherly Luck: Saint Patrick’s Day in Philadelphia

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Saint Patrick’s Day is this Saturday and the city of Philadelphia is hosting plenty of events to encourage everyone to get involved in the celebrations.

Those looking to enjoy the historical side of Saint Patrick’s Day can join Mayor Jim Kenney at the Irish Memorial in Old City where a ceremony will be held to commemorate those who left difficult times in Ireland for a better life in America.

The ceremony is set to start at 11 AM and will include a wreath laying and a changing of the flag.

Irish Memorial in Old City, Philadelphia

Thrill seekers will have the opportunity to spend Saint Patrick’s Day at Laurel Hill Cemetery where the telling of Irish tales will give people insight of the heritage and accomplishments of those souls that have passed.

The tours are set to start at 1 PM and drinks and food will be provided to those in attendance.

Partygoers will also have their way of celebrating by attending the over 30-year-old tradition, Erin Express pub crawl.

Pubs are set to open as early as 7 AM with Express busses running every 15 minutes from 11 AM – 6 PM.

Erin Express stresses that tickets are not needed for this event as people have been tricked to pay in the past.

“Don’t be fooled by imitations, the official Erin Express has and always will be a free event!”

The city of Philadelphia encourages everyone to enjoy the holiday safely and responsibly.

 

The Museum of Sports to Open in Philadelphia Next Year

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Philadelphia is welcoming a new museum in the spring of 2019.

However, this is not going to be a typical art or history museum. Instead, it is a museum centered around sports.

“The Museum of Sports” will feature artifacts that celebrate all national sports and teams, yet the main focus will be about the rich sports history of Philadelphia.

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Computer rendering of the proposed stadium. (Courtesy of the Museum of Sports)

This project, which has been discussed since 1999, is currently run by former Governor Ed Rendell, sports executive Lou Scheinfeld, collector Nick DePace, and sports auction owner Ken Goldin.

The new museum, which will be located in the Jetro Building at 700 Pattinson Avenue, is a 25,000 square foot space that will feature important sports memorabilia.

A large amount of the artifacts will be supplied by the DePace Sports Museum in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Curator for the museum, Eric Katz, stated, “We need 8 million dollars to get this thing done, we have about a third of the money, and it’s going to be one of the greatest things you have ever seen.”

Visitors of the museum can expect an incredible experience as there will be immersive displays, unbelievable artifacts, and even virtual reality activities.

People can find more information or donate to the project by visiting www.themuseumofsports.org.