50th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
Among the many cultures who have come to call San Francisco home, the heritage from Japan is one of the most storied, rich, and colorful. Every year, this fact is celebrated during the annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, when visitors and residents alike gather together in Japantown to enjoy traditional Japanese cooking, crafts, music, dancing, and other magnificent events. This year, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates 50 glorious years of calling San Francisco its home, and to ring in this half-a-century, all the stops have been pulled in the lineup of performers, the booths selling original Japanese wares, crafts, and artworks, and the extravagant parade which kicks the entire festival off to a riotous start.
Held between the generous borders of Fillmore and Laguna Streets and Bush and Geary Streets, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival contains so much goodness that it could not be contained within one weekend alone! Come and enjoy all that Japantown has to offer (and more) on either the weekend of the 8th and 9th or on the weekend of the 15th and 16th. Or, if you want to ensure that you do not miss a single moment of fun, come to them both! Each weekend will feature events unique to that time period, original acts from Japan, martial arts demonstrations, and so much more such as:
- The Grand Parade on April 16th, which starts at 1:00pm, at the Civic Center, and winds up Polk Street to finish at the intersection of Post and Fillmore in Japantown.
- Edo Ensemble
- Ito Yosakoi
- GenRyu Arts
- Minyo Minbu
- Northern California Seiha USA Orchestra
- Yoko and the Sunshine Girls
- Yagata Dance Studio
- Grass Valley Taiko
- Essence: Japanese Music Institute
Like always, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is almost completely free to attend. There are certain events or performances that will charge admission, but the prices are reasonable and the spectacle well worth the cost of admission. However, regardless of whether you come looking to spend pockets of greenbacks or are trying to tighten your purse strings, the 50th Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is the perfect way to celebrate Japanese culture, Spring, and life itself.