Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
Photo: subarucherryblossom.org
Although cherry blossom festivals originated in Japan, they are held in many other countries where Japanese cherry trees are grown. Most cherry blossom festivals in the United States celebrate the friendship between Japan and the U.S. Some of America’s most famous cherry blossom festivals include the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. and the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia.

The history of Philadelphia’s cherry blossom festival began in 1926, then Japan gave 1,600 sakura trees to the City of Philadelphia as a gesture of goodwill and in honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence. Most of the trees were planted in Fairmount Park.

The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia continued the legacy of Japan’s gift of trees in 1998 by making a pledge to plant 1,000 new sakura trees in Philadelphia within the next decade. The society began to host an annual fundraiser followed by a cherry tree planting ceremony.

As the number of cherry blossom streets in Philadelphia grew, the tree planting project began to draw more public attention. The planting ceremony transformed into a Japanese style celebration of spring. In 2003, Subaru of America became the title sponsor of the cherry tree planting project, and the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival was born. What started as a single day ceremony has since expanded to become a two-week celebration of Japanese culture.

The festival now features over 45 events that attract more than 20,000 people from all over Pennsylvania as well as out of state. They are dedicated to and inspired by the art, music, dance, martial arts, food, drink, and culture of Japan. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is preceded by the annual Gala designed to raise money for planting more cherry blossom trees in Greater Philadelphia.

The main highlight of the festival is Sakura Sunday. It is a day-long outdoor cultural fair focusing on all things Japanese. It features spectacular live music and dance performances, cultural demonstrations, martial arts, arts and crafts, hands-on activities, karaoke, and more.

Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival

Photo: danny4u2



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