Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Denver's Cherry Blossom Festival June 23-24

On Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24 be sure to check out Denver's Cherry Blossom Festival, at Sakura Square in downtown Denver. FREE! Japanese culture and heritage are showcased in this annual event, now in its 40th year. Dance, taiko drums, and martial arts are featured on the outdoor stage, while inside the Denver Buddhist Temple are food sales, exhibits, and demos.

Sakura Square is the smallest of Denver's Asian ethnic hubs, and its oldest. The development was built in 1972 on the site of the existing Japanese district, which had been in place since before World War II and blossomed after the war, when Japanese-Americans who had been released from internment camps throughout the West settled in Denver.
Sakura Square is tucked between Lawrence and Larimer, and 19th and 20th Streets in Downtown Denver. Festivities begin Saturday with the 11AM opening ceremony.

The festival features merchandise and food vendors. FREE lectures on Bonsai demonstrations, flower arranging and Buddhism will be held at the Hondo (main hall) of the Denver Buddhist Temple. Also don't miss the entertainment; Japanese drumming, Koto (traditional Japanese instrument) music, dance, and martial arts demonstrations.

Sakura Square houses numerous businesses that showcase the flavor of the Orient is in artwork, clothing and food. Our favorite is the 60-year-old Pacific Mercantile store. The cornerstone of Sakura Square is the Denver Buddhist Temple and all proceeds from the festival go to support the temple.

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