April 17-18 — The Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Committee announced that the city’s 13th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on April 17-18 at Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave, Monterey Park and will feature a wide array of Japanese cultural arts and entertainment, food, crafts, and games. Among the highlights of the festival are the various renowned taiko drum groups, sumo wrestling demonstration, traditional dance
performances, and special musical guests.
Admission to the two-day festival is free. Kabuki performance group Kyo no Kai will perform at this year’s festival. Founded and headed by Kabuki actor Nakamura Gankyo, the mission of Kyo no Kai is to teach and promote various aspects of traditional Japanese culture with the emphasis on the performance art of Kabuki. As a professional Kabuki actor, Gankyo has performed in all of the major Kabuki theaters throughout Japan.
Special guest Denise Dador of ABC7 Eyewitness News will be visiting the festival on Saturday April 17.
Her Healthy Living segment is seen every day on ABC7 Eyewitness News at 4pm and 5pm. Denise has received numerous journalism and community service awards. She was the recipient of an Emmy for outstanding news feature reporting.
Japanese pop sensation Masumi will be making her Cherry Blossom Festival debut performance. The 25-year-old sensation
was born in Niigata, Japan where she started performing at the age of six. Masumi has worked with famed producer Trevor Lawrence, Jr. and was signed to America’s Fortress Records heralding the release of Baby You. She has soared to #8 on Billboard’s Hot R&B singles sales.
Also scheduled to appear is the California Sumo Association. This unique group is dedicated to teaching sumo techniques and tradition to people of all sizes, ages, backgrounds, and genders, educating the public about traditional Japanese sumo, as well as training world-class sumo athletes. Founded in 1998, the wrestlers will demonstrate Sumo Wrestling techniques and compete in mini matches during the festival.
The Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival is a local community-oriented celebration, which has a long history of being held in the City of Monterey Park, since the early 1970’s.
Discontinued shortly after, the Cherry Blossom Festival was resurrected by a group of community volunteers whose efforts were realized through the successful re-establishment of the Cherry Blossom Festival in April
1998. The festival, which had over 9,000 attendees in 2009, coincides with the Nation’s annual Festival held in Washington, DC every spring to celebrate the 1912 gift to the city of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio
Ozaki of Tokyo.
The family friendly event includes Children’s Activity and Game areas, as well as highlights performance groups from local schools. A complete list of performers and special guests for the 2010 event will be announced in March. Performances are scheduled to begin Saturday April 17, at 11:00 a.m.
For information or for sponsorship opportunities, call (626) 307-1390 or email [email protected]