Daion Taiko from Orange County Buddhist Church at last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival.
HUNTINGTON BEACH — The Cherry Blossom Festival will be presented by the Huntington Beach Sister City Association on Sunday, March 20, from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m at the Central Park Bandstand, 7111 Talbert Ave. (behind the Central Library) in Huntington Beach.
The event, which features Japanese dance, music, food, cultural exhibits, arts, crafts, and games, was created by the association to help fund its programs and to highlight Huntington Beach’s 34-year relationship with its sister city in Japan, Anjo (Aichi Prefecture).
Award-winning author, illustrator and poet Sunny Seki will share his works, including “The Tale of the Lucky Cat.”
The Orange County Bonsai Society will discuss and display their art, and renowned bonsai artist Frank Goya will create his trademark saikei bonsai.
Children will have an opportunity to learn calligraphy and origami.
Dancer Nancy Teramura Hayata will perform to Hiroshima’s “Thousand Cranes.” (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
The performance schedule is as follows:
10:35 a.m. — Cherry tree dedication ceremony
11 a.m. — Opening ceremonies, including dignitaries
11:30 a.m. — Kokoro Taiko
12 p.m. — Fujima Ransei (Japanese classical dance)
12:15 p.m. — Kineya Yasufujiko Kyooshitsu Nagauta (Japanese classical music)
12:45 p.m. — Nancy Hayata (Japanese classical dance)
1 p.m. — Little Tokyo Dance Club
1:30 p.m. — Venice Kendo Dojo
2 p.m. — Mai no Kai (traditional Japanese dance)
2:30 p.m. — Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu Dojo (karate)
3 p.m. — Yuna and Tida (Okinawan sanshin)
3:30 p.m. — Minyo Station
Food vendors include Ramen Burger (back by popular demand), GAJA (okonomiyaki), Sakurai Japanese Grill, Meiji Restaurant, OkiDoki (izakaya), Tanota (takoyaki), Baby Mini-Donuts, and Samurai Burrito. The Huntington Beach Sister City Association snack bar will be serving noodles and mochi, plus kid-friendly food like hot dogs and packaged snacks.
Arts and craft vendors will include Origami Owl (jewelry), La Meno Fushion Jewelry, Ron Reeker’s Bonsai Exchange, Pix ’n’ Giggles Photo Both, and Heritage Source (books).