PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 29, 2012 -- What's noisy, delicious, dramatic, playful, inspiring, thought provoking, and pink and white all over? It's Philadelphia's own Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, celebrating its fifteenth year this spring, from March 23 to April 21. The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia presents events for all ages, many of them free, throughout the region — from Center City to the Main Line, King of Prussia to Fairmount Park.
As the nation celebrates the centennial of Japan's gift of cherry blossom trees blooming on the Mall in Washington D.C., here in Philadelphia attendees can:
* Kick off the Festival by attending the sparkling Blossom Bash at the Hyatt at the Bellevue, on March 23rd.
* Be inspired by the transcendence of dance and the power of Taiko drumming.
* Taste the varied flavors of Japan (at a 20% discount!) during Dine Out Japan, April 15 - 19.
* Experience the drama of Kabuki dance and the antics of Kyogen comedy.
* Learn how to wear a kimono, write your name in Japanese calligraphy, arrange flowers in the ikebana tradition, or create tiny origami masterpieces during Japanese Culture Week at Liberty Place, April 9 - 13.
* Run under a canopy of flowering trees at the Cherry Blossom 5K.
* Introduce the whole family to everything from Japanese music and crafts, to fashion, food, martial arts and even a Prettiest Pets in Pink Contest at Sakura Sunday, April 15, in Fairmount Park.
A complete listing of events, including storytelling at local libraries, movie screenings, and a special food tasting day at Maido! in Narberth, is available online at subarucherryblossom.org.
The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia, a project of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, encourages better understanding of the cultural, social, and educational customs of Japan and the United States. The Festival builds on the JASGP commitment to plant and maintain cherry trees in local parks. To date, the JASGP has planted more than 1,000 cherry trees across the city, supplementing the 1,600 trees presented by the Japanese government as a gesture of friendship in 1926.