Blooming Fun at Philly’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Sakura weekend ends with a bang, Making Philadelphia’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival a hit. 

The Japanese America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) hosts Philly’s annual spring celebration of the blooming of the cherry blossoms, which were given to America as a sign of friendship by the Japanese government in 1926. In 1998, JASGP created a legacy of planting new cherry blossom trees annually. 

The cherry blossom festival has become a way to not only celebrate spring with the blossoming of the trees, but to also pay homage to Japanese culture. This year’s festival was held last weekend on the 15th & 16th of April, a week after the predicted peak bloom of the cherry blossoms. 

Visitors had to look a bit harder to see the cherry blossoms throughout Fairmount Park, with some guests voicing this point. “I wish like the cherry blossoms were more like fully in view because I feel like you have to walk around and find them a bit,” notes Pam Temcharoen. Another guest, Levi Selby who was also wishing to see the beauty of the cherry blossoms, saw the bright side of the situation. “I was expecting to see cherry blossoms, but it’s still a beautiful day.”

Even without the obvious presence of the cherry blossoms, the festival was packed with people. Many of them could be seen shopping at the large variety of vendor stalls or watching the many performances held at the main or secondary stage.  

Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Troupe
Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Troupe at Cherry Blossom Festival

The Tamagawa University Taiko Drum and Dance Troupe’s performance on Sunday quickly made them the stars of the festival this year. Guests had nothing but high praise. “I was watching some of the dance performances earlier up at the stage so defiantly that, that was one of the things I was most excited about,” notes Athena Postlewait. 

If you were hoping to see the cherry blossoms at this year’s festival, you shouldn’t worry. The beauty of the cherry blossoms can still be enjoyed all around Philadelphia

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