Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival Set for April 22-23

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Performers will include Yoki Daiko, pictured at last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

MONTEREY PARK — The 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival Committee and the City of Monterey Park will present the 20th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 23, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave. in Monterey Park.

Local organizations will provide various foods with an Asian flair; hand-made crafts; kids’ games; taiko drumming; traditional Japanese dancing; martial arts; Japanese musical entertainment; a mochi-making demonstration; an origami demonstration and classes; an ikebana display and classes.

Free shuttle service from Langley Senior Center, 400 W. Emerson Ave.; Ynez Elementary School, 120 S. Ynez Ave.; and Repetto Elementary School, 650 S. Grandridge Ave.

Free and open to the public. For more information, call (626) 307-1390 or visit www.MontereyPark.ca.gov.

Performance Schedule

Saturday, April 22

Field Stage

11 a.m.: Mark Keppel High School Aztec Singers

11:30 a.m.: Sage Granada Park United Methodist Church Japanese School Taiko Group

12 p.m.: Opening ceremony with Denise Dador of ABC 7 Eyewitness News, Consul General Akira Chiba and kimono fashion show

1 p.m.: Yoki Daiko

1:30 p.m.: Southland Aikido

2 p.m.: Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko

2:30 p.m.: Local Mojo (band)

3:15 p.m.: Halau Hula ‘A’ Ala Anuhea

3:45 p.m.: Erica Nagashima (singer)

4:15 p.m.: Yuujou Taiko

5 p.m.: David Torres Kempo Karate

Indoor Stage

12 p.m.: Sushi demonstration by Andy Matsuda of Sushi Chef Institute

1 p.m.: Kotobuki no Kai (minyo)

2 p.m.: Allen the Illusionist

3 p.m.: Shinshi (guitarist)

4 p.m.: Fuji Japanese Music and Yamatogaku USA

4:30 p.m.: Urasenke tea ceremony

5 p.m.: Aikido demonstration by Aiko Institute

Sunday, April 23

Field Stage

11 a.m.: Mark Keppel High School Pep Band

11:30 a.m.: Mele Ohana Ukulele

12 p.m.: Wu Shu Martial Arts

12:20 p.m.: Mark Keppel High School Lion Dance Group

12:30 p.m.: Koshin Taiko

1 p.m.: Azuma Kotobuki Kai (classical dance) with Togen Daiko

1:50 p.m.: Yuna & Tida (Okinawan music)

2:30 p.m.: Phyllis Chang (singer)

3:15 p.m.: Fujima Kansei Odori Kai

3:45 p.m.: Bombu Taiko

4:15 p.m.: Ohana Polynesian Dancers

4:45 p.m.: Kokoro (band)

Indoor Stage

11 a.m.: Kayama Puppet Troupe

12 p.m.: Sunny and Judy Seki (children’s folk tales)

1 p.m.: Japanese classical dance with guest appearance by Fujima Kansei

2 p.m.: Manju demonstration by Brian Kito of Fugetsu-Do

3 p.m.: Origami demonstration by Michael Sanders

4 p.m. Kyo no Kai (kabuki)

On both days, Sogetsu Ikebana will be offering mini-classes from 2 to 5 p.m. $5 materials fee.

The Food Court will feature:

Chicken teriyaki, sodas, bottled water (Cherry Blossom Festival Committee)

Corn on the cob, baked yams (Gera’s Corn)

Fusion quesadillas with kalua pork, teriyaki chicken or tofu (Mark Keppel High School PTSA)

Poke bowls (NoKaO’i Foods)

Somen, hot dogs, chili dogs, nachos (Nishi Junior Young Buddhist Association)

Salmon teriyaki, fried wonton (Little Tokyo Public Safety Association)

Sushi (Sushi Chef Institute)

Takoyaki, green tea (Takoyaki Tanota LLC)

Twisted potato, BBQ squid, bulgogi burrito (Miister Potato)

Waffles, rice noodles, watermelon juice (Waffleland)

Shaved ice, Imagawayaki (Eastside Optimist Club)

Dango (LA Nets)

Manju (Fugetsu-Do)

Passion fruit iced tea, wintermelon tea (Buddhist Ortho Creed Association)

Italian ice, lemonade, boba tea, Thai tea, iced tea (Kwee Concessions)

The Cherry Blossom Festival was originally held in the early 1970s. Discontinued shortly thereafter, it was resurrected by a group of community volunteers in 1997. Their efforts were realized through the successful re-establishment of the Cherry Blossom Festival in April 1998.

The event coincides with the National Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the nation’s capital from the mayor of Tokyo.

Organized completely by volunteers, many of whom were teenagers during the festival’s early years, the festival’s goal is to showcase Japanese culture at no cost to the public.

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