San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Festival

The Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco is a full on spectacle of color, showmanship and culture. San Francisco is home to one of the largest Japanese communities in the nation and the Cherry Blossom Festival is the largest celebration of its kind on the west coast. This year will be the 50th annual celebration and I am here to encourage you to attend.

Last year was my first year attending the festival and I most certainly will not be missing this years 50th celebration. Last year I remember being amazed at how colorful everything was, how much expression the Japanese display in their culture and how much fun everyone was having showing it.

I went for the main Parade on the last day and made sure I was early enough to get a front row seat against the barricade. The main parade of the Cherry Blossom Festival had it all. The traditional and more proper cultural experiences such as drummers and dancers in their festive garb to the more bizarre and wacky costumes reflecting the diversity of people and views.

If you plan on making a day of the celebration there are plenty of other things to do before and after the parade. There is a bonsai tree display that features trees that you need to see to appreciate. I wanted to take a couple of the trees home as art, but that would be a bad idea, I just lost 4 cactus plants this month and I would hate to hand the trees the same fate.

There are food tents setup where you taste some delicious dishes prepared by the Japanese community.

Of course beer is also on the menu at the Sapporo Beer Garden.

The whole parade has a grand finale where the Taru Mikoshi Ren carry a Mikoshi down the street. The Mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine, a raised platform with Sake barrels on top. The Festival in 2017 kicks off April 8th and the main parade is Sunday April 16th. If you see me out there stop by and say hi.

For more information about the Cherry Blossom Festival please visit this website.

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