Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival

“Beneath the Blossoms,” the 2014 Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival, in its 6th year, will celebrate the planting of more than 600 Japanese Cherry Blossom trees throughout the city’s parks, public areas and neighborhoods as it opens to the public on the front lawn of Metro Courthouse Saturday, April 12, from 9 AM – 4 PM. 

Cherry blossoms, or sakura, have been a symbol of U.S.-Japan friendship since the Mayor of Tokyo donated 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, D.C., in 1912. Today, cherry blossom festivals, or sakura matsuri, are celebrated every spring all over the United States.

Nashville’s annual festival is a family-friendly, daylong celebration of Japanese culture in the heart of Music City.

The steps and front lawn of the Metro Courthouse offer a prime location for the event which begins with a Walk hosted by Sister Cities of Nashville at 9 AM, followed by the ceremonial opening of the festival at 10 AM. The Main Stage will feature taiko drumming, special musical and dance performances and a Cosplay Contest, with a more intimate stages on the lawn and next to the Sakura Café on 3rd Avenue North, showcasing martial arts demonstrations and the magic of a roving Japanese “Candyman.”

Festival goers can also enjoy a “Taste of Japan” from the offerings of food trucks and Japanese food vendors; shopping at the “Ginza Marketplace”, “J-Pop Land” and “Artists Avenue”; and engage in a traditional tea ceremony, sumo-suit matches, cultural lectures and a variety of children’s activities in the “Arts & Culture” area.

The 2014 celebration will also include other special events throughout the cherry blossom season, or “Sakura season,” in the weeks prior to the festival.

The Cherry Blossom Festival project is a joint undertaking of the nonprofit Japan-America Society of Tennessee, the Consulate-General of Japan in Nashville and the office of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and the government of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, with primary funding provided by civic-

minded corporate sponsors and individual donors and further assistance from a festival advisory council and working committee of active community volunteers.

Philanthropists Jack O. Bovender, Jr. and wife, Barbara, serve as the 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival Advisory Council co-chairs in support of the project’s mission to plant 1,000 cherry trees over 10 years to beautify Nashville and provide a backdrop for the annual festival.

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