Cupertino Cherry Blossom Festival Honors Sister City

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Koinobori (carp banner) in Cupertino's Memorial Park.

CUPERTINO — The 29th annual Cherry Blossom Festival honoring Cupertino’s sister-city relationship with Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, will be held Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Memorial Park on Stevens Creek Boulevard and Mary Avenue. Admission is free.

The festival offers a wide selection of Japanese food and beverages, entertainment, demonstrations, cultural exhibits, art, crafts and clothing for sale plus a special children’s section.

Indoor cultural displays and demonstrations in the Cupertino Community Center will include bonsai, Japanese dolls, ikebana, suiseki, origami, calligraphy, Japanese swords, and sumi-e.

An outdoor “Kidz Zone” will feature games, hands-on arts and crafts, and a petting zoo. Koi and Akita and shiba dogs will be shown on the lawn behind the food court.

Washi ningyo (dolls made from Japanese paper).

All-day outdoor entertainment takes place in the park amphitheater. Among the scheduled performers are taiko groups, Japanese dancers, various martial arts, and musicians of all ages.

Food and drink offerings will include gyoza, chicken salad, tempura, yakisoba, mochi, teriyaki hot dogs, fruit-on-a-stick, teriyaki chicken with rice in a bowl, shave ice, coffee, smoothies, beer, sake, plum wine, sodas, bottled water and lemonade.

Craft booths throughout the park will offer a wide variety of items for sale, including cards, paper sculptures, pottery, jewelry, washi eggs and dolls, Japanese antiques, clothing, paintings, candles, photos, woodwork and T-shirts.

The 200 cherry trees and the two traditional lanterns at the park were gifts to the City of Cupertino from Toyokawa. As this year marks the 100-year commemoration of Japan’s gift of cherry trees to Washington, D.C., there will be a special ceremony on Saturday at 1 p.m. The Consulate General of Japan will present an additional cherry tree to Cupertino.

Emeryville Taiko

The festival benefits the nonprofit Cupertino Sister City Committee, which promotes friendship and conducts an annual student exchange program with Toyokawa. Local nonprofit organizations that support services for the disadvantaged, youth sports, student service groups, music and language programs will have booths with a variety of activities.

Parking is available at nearby De Anza College.  Purchase a one-day parking permit for $3 from machines in the lot.

For more information, contact the Cupertino-Toyokawa Sister City Program at (408) 827-8336, email [email protected] or visit www.cupertinotoyokawa.org.

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