$8 advance purchase for adults (until April 8), $10 thereafter and at the gate on the day of the Matsuri, children 12 and under are free
The Sakura Matsuri—Japanese Street Festival, the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S., returns to the streets of D.C. on Saturday, April 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Held the same day as the Parade, this rain-or-shine event brings vibrant performances to four stages showcasing 30 cumulative hours of programming.
The daylong cultural celebration, presented by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC, enjoys a new location for 2016 in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood—at M Street and New Jersey Avenue SE, across the street from the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metro station. Sakura Matsuri welcomes more than 80 cultural groups, arts vendors and food booths to our celebration.
On Saturday, April 16, at 6:00 pm, Events DC presents Cherry Blast! Every spring this vibrant gathering proves a popular combination of Japanese sights, sounds and tastes, and this year, the event creatively spotlights all things related to anime, cosplay and gaming. This April, the fun launches in a new location –in the heart of downtown DC —at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square.
The Japanese-inspired event brings the energy and excitement surrounding its pop cultural experiences to the Festival. At Carnegie Library, revelers can enjoy a range of activities from manga and gaming to electric drifting competitions. Attendees can also partake in creative cosplay contests and learn about the latest Japanese fashion trends – straight from the runway. And the opportunity to relish in mouth-watering Tokyo street food, sake tastings and sushi workshops are just a few of the experiences available. Just when guests think it can’t get any better, they discover DC’s largest Japanese-inspired dance party, which showcases Asia’s alluring club and techno scenes.
Spring is right around the corner. In parks, gardens, forests, and fields, grass is turning green, flowers are in bloom, and tress and budding. Celebrate springtime in our nation’s capital and in the parks and green spaces in your life by joining us for a day of hands-on activities and games focused on parks, planning, landscape design, and architecture. Activities include: folding origami masterpieces, designing a memorial for the National Mall, constructing a tatebanko diorama, meeting DuAro (Kawasaki’s robot), trying on traditional Japanese clothing and learning more about the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration.
Southwest Waterfront – 600 Water Street, SW to the Waterfront Park and Titanic Memorial (map)
The event is still scheduled to happen as planned tomorrow (4/9), please check back here for updates.
Enjoy more than eight celebratory hours of free music, family friendly water-related activities, cultural experiences, live entertainment and delicious foods at multiple outdoor venues at the Southwest Waterfront.
CHERRY BLOSSOM PLAZA
• Harris Teeter Experience
• Cherry Blossom Photos – sponsored by Harris Teeter
• DC Dragon Boats and Excursions
• Beer and Cider Garden – sales stop at 8:15 PM, services stops at 8:30 pm • Product Samples provided – by Harris Teeter and Procter and Gamble
GANGPLANK MARINA/ COPPER BEACH PARK
• Food Truck Rally
• Coffee and Hot Chocolate Samples – sponsored by Dunkin Donuts
• Sailboat Making
• Hot 99.5 Music and Giveaways – special appearance by DJ Toby Knapp from 2-4 PM • Blossom Art
WATER STREET CIRCLE
• Food Truck Rally and Picnic Area
• Blossom Hair Styles and Photo Shoot – sponsored by Hair Cuttery
• Blossom Ink Temporary Tattoos
• Family Comfort Station sponsored by Pampers, Luvs and Dreft
• Paper Bag Puppets
• T-shirt Crafting – by Harbor Patrol
• Kasa Hat Creations
• Paper Kite Gliders – sponsored by Odyssey and Spirit Cruises
• Face Painting
• Family Games
• Koi Windsocks
We strongly encourage attendees to take public transportation to the Waterfront area. Metrorail- Orange/Blue lines to L’Enfant Plaza (0.7 miles to the Festival) or Green line to Waterfront (0.3 miles to the Festival) Metrobus- There are many options for bus routes near the Festival site. Use the Trip Planner There is no public event parking on Water Street, SW. Please utilize area parking lots on 4th Street, SW and by L’Enfant Plaza.
Attendees can access the Festival at multiple entry points, including the intersection of Maine Ave. SW and M St. SW as well as via several access points along 4th St SW towards Waterfront Park.
Fireworks Viewing Information: Attendees are encouraged to view the fireworks display along the waterfront closest to the Titanic Memorial. While there will be many vantage points along the waterfront the Waterfront Park is an ideal location. Please proceed to this area well in advance of the show for your safety and exit on walkways to 4th Street SW.
Grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street NW and Constitution Avenue (Map)
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is kicking off kite season and celebrating 50 years of kite flying on the National Mall! Carrying the legacy of the Smithsonian Kite Festival which first took place in 1967, the sixth annual Blossom Kite Festival showcases the creativity of kite makers and skill of fliers from across the US and other countries through a variety of competitions and demonstrations including a “kites of the decades” demonstation, Rokkaku Battles and the Hot Tricks Showdown. Bring your own kites or children can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field.
Please note: drones are prohibited at this event.
The Rain date is Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 12 PM
COMPETITION & DEMONSTRATION FIELD
Opening Remarks and Kick-off Kite Parade 10 AM
Kite Ballets & Demonstrations 10:30 – 11 AM
Adult Kite Makers Competition 11 AM – 1 PM
Demonstration: Kites of the Decades 1 – 2 PM
Hot Tricks Showdown 2 – 3 PM
Rokkaku Battle 3 – 4 PM
Puzzle Rokkaku 4 – 4:15 PM
Kite Arch and Awards 4:15 – 4:30 PM
Practice Fly for Youth Kite Makers 10:30 – 11 AM
Youth Kite Makers Competition 11 AM – 12 Noon
Youth Kite Makers Awards 12 Noon – 12:30 PM
Mini Rokkaku Practice 12:30 – 1 PM
Mini Rokkaku Challenge (ages 5-9) 1 – 1:30 PM
Mini Rokkaku Challenge (ages 10-15) 1:45 – 2 PM
Bol Races 2 – 3 PM
Family Open Fly 3 – 4:30 PM
Click here for more information on the Kite Makers Competition and here for competition rules and guidelines.
FREE; Advance ticketing required. There will be a $5 registration fee when tickets are claimed.
Tickets are currently sold out, if last-minute spaces are available, walk-ins will be accepted at 4:45 PM on the day of the event.
All tickets have been claimed. Walk ups will be accommodated on a first come first served basis.
Kick-off the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival and watch world-renowned performers as we welcome springtime to Washington, DC and celebrate the anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan to the United States. Enjoy spirited traditional and contemporary performances in the historic Warner Theatre. The Festival heralds a natural treasure that unites our city, region, nation, and the world. The trees – both in Japan and the U.S. – always have symbolized birth and renewal. The Opening Ceremony celebrates the season through a showcase of great American and Japanese talent.
WHEELCHAIR AND HEARING-IMPAIRED SEATING REQUESTS
To request wheelchair seating or hearing-impaired seating (require ASL interpreter), contact the National Cherry Blossom Festival ticket manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wheelchair and hearing-impaired seating requests are limited to two per patron.
BRENNA WHITAKER As a kid growing up in Kansas City, Brenna Whitaker fell in love with the music of jazz and blues singers from a long-ago era. “Ruth Brown, Peggy Lee, Cab Calloway, Etta James – those are my people,” says the L.A.-based vocalist. “I don’t even know how I ended up knowing so many of their songs and standards from back then. It’s almost like they found their way to me, like I’m from another time.” After landing her first professional theater gig at age 11, moving to New York City on her own to study with Broadway veterans at age 17, and spending her early 20s leading jazz bands back home in Missouri, Whitaker headed to L.A. and started setting up a series of residencies that eventually attracted fans like Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Michael Bublé and caught the attention of Verve Music Group chairman and 16-time Grammy Award-winner David Foster. The first new artist Foster has agreed to develop and produce since discovering Bublé, Whitaker has released her self-titled debut album for Verve that finds her reviving a vast American jukebox of classic songs and revealing the full force of her stunning, soulful voice.
ASAKO TAMURA – JAPANESE SOPRANO SINGER
Born in Kyoto, Japan, Ms. Tamura began studying piano at age four. She graduated from Kunitachi College of Music with a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music where she earned a Master of Arts in Opera. Since 2002, Ms Tamura has embarked on an international career as the female soloist in the Three Tenors Concert with Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras at the Arena of Yokohama during the World Cup Championship. She also performed in the Summer Opera Festival at the Foro Romano in Rome and made a debut in the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at the National Opera in Constanz, Romania. Ms. Tamura’s extensive performance credits include appearances as Juliet in Romeo et Juliet with the Hungarian State Opera; and the Hacioji City Opera, Japan; Licenza in Il Sogno di Scipione with Gotham Chamber Opera; Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Pacific Music Festival and Musetta in La Boheme; Zerlina in Don Giovanni and the title role in Manon in New York. Additionally she has made numerous appearances with various orchestras around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of Summer Festival in Roma, L.A. Asian American Philharmonic Orchestra, Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Hamamatsu City Bach Orchestra, and Tokyo City Orchestra.
Gamarjobat fascinates people with their two attractions: thoroughly-plotted stage acts, and lively shows with explosive energy. The group came to be in 1999 when Ketch!, easily identified by his red mohawk, had a fateful street performer encounter with HIRO-PON, with his distinctive yellow mohawk. Their highly-acclaimed performance has been valued highly beyond language and cultural barriers; they have been invited to perform at over 200 festivals in more than 30 countries. For this, they were chosen as one of “the 100 most respected Japanese people in the world” in the Japanese-edition of Newsweek magazine. In 2014, they started the brand new project, “THE GAMARJOBAT COMPANY”. They get together with other professional stage artists to create and perform pantomime-based Silent Comedy works.
MIHO HAZAMA – Conductor of a 14-Piece Jazz Ensemble
Originally from Tokyo, Japan, New York-based jazz composer Miho Hazama began playing piano and electric organ at age 5 and started studying classical composition at age 13. In 2009, Ms. Hazama graduated from Kunitachi College of Music with a bachelor’s degree in Classical Composition. With private instruction in jazz composition from Jim McNeely and piano from Phil Markowitz, Ms. Hazama completed her master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) in Jazz Composition in 2012. A winner of the 2011 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, Ms. Hazama participated in the Metropole Orkest Arranger’s Workshop in the Netherlands where her arrangements were conducted by Vince Mendoza and performed by the Metropole Orkest. Since 2007, Ms. Hazama has worked with Yosuke Yamashita, Vince Mendoza, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Shiro Sagisu as well as TV-Asahi “Untitled Concert,” the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Siena Wind Orchestra, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra, Yamaha Symphonic Band and the Metropole Orkest. Her arrangements have been performed not only in the US but also in Japan, Poland, England, France and the Netherlands.
The 6821 QUINTET A quintet specially assembled for the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival by the Ryuji Ueno Foundation. Cleverly named to reflect the distance from Tokyo to DC, the group is comprised Mayu Kishima (violin), Tim Park (cello), Meng Wang (viola), Mayumi Sakamoto (Piano), and Andrew Kwon (violin) The quintet will be premiering a piece specifically composed for the National Cherry Blossom Festival by Washington Award Grand Prize Winner Michael Djupstrom.
A Tsugaru Shamisen duo comprised of Ko Takahashi and Misao Habu. They got to know each other at Aomori Japanese Folk Song Festival in August, 2011 and worked many times together afterwards. Misao Habu achieved three crowns in the All-Japan Tsugaru Shamisen contest from 2012 through 2013. Ko Takahashi won the victory in the All-Japan Tsugaru Shamisen contest held in Tokyo in April, 2001.He also appeared as a guest on the live concert which celebrates “Misao Habu’s All-Japan Tsugaru Shamisen Championship Winner. Then he composed the works to represent her feelings of “ Genesis” and he got a favorable reception to announce the song. Habu believed in his works and Takahashi trusted her proficiency in musical skills, so they formed the Tsugaru Shamisen Dois‘ HAZUKI’
Metro: The Warner Theatre is accessible through the Metro Center station. This can be accessed through the red, orange, silver and blue lines.
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (map)
See below for pricing. Click here to purchase. Proceeds support Festival events and programs.
Click here to donate an item and showcase your business at the Party.
The springtime affair in Washington, the Pink Tie Party stylishly marks the end of winter and the official beginning of blossom season on Friday, March 18th, 2016. Attendees will be delighted and entertained by delicious food and beverage stations, unique entertainment, and the friendly competition of the silent auction. The Pink Tie Party is an event not to be missed as influencers and tastemakers from DC and our region’s professional, sports, social and media communities come together to celebrate the cherry blossoms as an iconic symbol of international friendship and springtime excitement. Proceeds benefit the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the beauty of nature and international friendship through year-round programs, events, and education initiatives that enhance our environment, showcase arts and culture, and build community spirit.
Click here to purchase. VIP Admission – includes: — Early access beginning at 6 PM — Enhancements to your experience throughout the evening such as access to specialty cocktails, limited-edition giveaways and more! $300 General Admission – includes: — Access to the event at 7 PM $225
Constitution Avenue – From 7th to 17th streets, NW
Starting at $20 for Grandstand Seating. Standing along the Parade route from Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets, NW is FREE and open to the public. Arrive early for the best views.
Tickets are still available! Advance online ticket sales have closed. Tickets will be available onsite, details below.
One of DC’s largest spectator events, the energy-filled National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® presented by Events DC runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue. Giant colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers burst down the Parade route in a grand spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival. From the National Archives to the Washington Monument, spectators are wow-ed by the pageantry and excitement that is the nation’s premier springtime parade. Parade co-hosts are ABC7’s own Leon Harris and Alison Starling, with special appearances from Dancing with the Stars’ Carrie Ann Inaba and Good Morning America’s Rob Marciano.
Can’t make it to the Parade? Make sure to catch the Washington, DC-area local broadcast on Saturday, April 16 from Noon – 2 PM on ABC7/WJLA and 2 PM – 4 PM on News Channel 8. You can also catch the live stream from 10 AM – Noon on wjla.com (live stream will be available for 30 days).
Parade lovers from across the country can watch the one-hour Parade, syndicated nationally in the weeks following the Parade. See National Syndication information below for airing dates and times.
Local talent, including winners of the third annual Sing Into Spring Competition and the Washington Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir
Marching Bands: • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School Band, Acton, Massachusetts • Ballou High School Band, Washington, DC • Camdenton High School Band, Missouri • Connetquot High School Band, Bohemia, New York • Grand Ledge High School Band, Michigan • Herndon High School Band, Virginia • J. W. Mitchell High School Band, New Port Richey, Florida • Jefferson High School Band, Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia • Logan High School Band, Ohio • Lyman High School Band, Longwood, Florida • Portsmouth High School Band, Rhode Island • Richmond Hill High School Band, Georgia • W. Tresper Clarke High School Band, Westbury, New York • Wheeler High School Band, Marietta, Georgia
Tickets will be available to purchase onsite, cash only.
East End ticket sales will be available at the will call booth at 9th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW for $30.
West End ticket sales will be available at the will call booth at 15th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW for $20.
Guests must be seated by 9:45 AM. Late seating will happen at appropriate intervals.
Metro: The one-mile length of the Parade route is accessible from multiple Metro stations. Ticketholders should confer their ticket purchase confirmation email that contains explicit instructions on how to walk from Metro to their seats. Spectators who are standing along the free & accessible portions of the route from 9th to 15th Streets should utilize the following Metro stops • To stand on the north side of Constitution Avenue – Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Green/Yellow lines), Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange/Silver lines) or Metro Center (Blue/Orange/Red/Silver lines) • To stand on the south side of Constitution Avenue – L’Enfant Plaza (Blue/Green/Orange/Silver/Yellow lines) or Smithsonian (Blue/Orange lines)
Spectators should utilize the DC Circulator’s new National Mall route for access to all portions of the Parade. Rides cost just $1 and buses arrive every 10 minutes. Changes will be made to the traditional route for the Parade, so riders are encouraged to check the DC Circulator website regularly for up-to-date information regarding the DC Circulator National Mall route service updates.
Multiple Capital Bikeshare stations are conveniently located for Parade attendees. For a complete list of Capital Bikeshare stations in the area, visit the Capital Bikeshare website. Anyone can ride for just $8 per day, $17 for 3 days, $30 for a month or $85 annually. Take a bike from any station, enjoy your ride, and return it to the station of your choice. Trips under 30 minutes are free.
Click here for a list of on-air dates for the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade national broadcast.
Location: The Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square – 801 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (map)
Cost: – VIP Admission (includes an extra hour of access to the event from 6 -7 PM, and a gift bag) – $150 – General Admission – $100 – Sponsor VIP Package – Click here to download more information.
Tickets: See below.
Explore the worlds of sake, shōchū, and craft beer alongside Japanese cuisine at the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Grand Sake Tasting! At this exclusive event, nineteen breweries directly from Japan will offer tastings of their craft beverages, among the world’s finest produced, creating a one-of-a-kind experience in the United States. Admission includes sake, shōchū, and craft beer tastings. The selection contains rare and luxury brand sake; highlights include:
Dassai “23” Junmai Daiginjo from the Yamaguchi Prefecture, which was served at the April 2015 State Dinner during Prime Minister Abe’s recent visit to the White House.
Nanbu Bijin “Southern Beauty” Nama Nama, Toubetsu Junmai from the Iwata Prefecture, an unpasteurized seasonal sake, bottled and shipped immediately to maintain its purity and quality. It is only produced once a year in extremely limited quantities.
Kubota Manju “10,000 Celebrations” Junmai Daiginjo from the Niigata Prefecture, one of the most famous and highly awarded sakes, setting the standard for others to be measured against.
Complementing the beverages, tastings of Japanese cuisine will be served by local restaurants including:
“Over 20 breweries showcased their best, ranging from sakes, plum wine, and beer [;] it was a match made in sake paradise. Each representative made sure to thoroughly explain the three to six options available per station.” – womanaroundtown.com “Overall, this was a great event that introduced some wonderful premium sakes to lots of eager sake lovers in Washington, D.C. It was a fantastic evening of sake and good fun.” – hakkaisan.com “I have never had sake that good before – and I probably never will again as all of the sakes I tried that night are in the top 1% of those produced in Japan.” – worldnomads.com
Event proceeds benefit the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.Sponsor VIP Package – Click here to download more information.
Metro: Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center (Green/Yellow lines).