Signs of Spring: The 52nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
The blooming of the cherry trees is a classic sign of Spring throughout many Asian cultures. Each year, the cherry trees send forth their delicate petals, reminding us that no matter how long and dark the winter might have been, Spring has arrived to lift and warm our spirits.
If you happen to be in San Francisco or the Bay Area in general during the middle of April, you might want to check out the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, which is considered one of the West Coast’s biggest celebrations of Asian heritage as well as being a wonderfully fun time.
Starting in 1968, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival began as a gesture of solidarity between Japan and the United States. From humble beginnings, the festival steadily grew over the years and now it can boast an annual attendance of over 220,000 people who come to Japantown in order to partake in this marvelous expression of an ancient culture and celebrate its continued existence in this world.
A completely free event, the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will feature numerous vendors of food, drink, arts and crafts that continue the celebration of Japanese culture. In addition to this, there will be the chance to purchase entrance to some special events that will be held during the festival for a limited time and promise to be well worth the ticket price.
If you plan on attending the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, expect to see:
- Martial arts displays
- Lots of live music
- The Grand Parade (which is held during the festival’s second Sunday)
- The Queen Program
- Cultural Performances
Many people are familiar with the Washington D.C. celebration around their blooming cherry blossoms, but you might be surprised to find out that the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is only slightly smaller than the one organized for the nation’s capital. Lasting for two weeks (the duration of time that the cherry blossoms are in bloom), the festival in San Francisco will take place in Japantown’s Post Street, running all the way from Laguna to Fillmore.
The 52nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will run from April 13th until April 21st.