Sakura Matsuri: A Celebration of Japanese Culture at BBG
April 26 and 27, 2014 | 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Release Date: April 9, 2014Brooklyn, NY–Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s (BBG) cherry blossom festival, Sakura Matsuri—popularly considered NYC’s rite of spring and the largest event in a U.S. public garden—returns for its 33rd year on April 26 and 27, 2014. Taking place during Hanami, the Japanese tradition of enjoying each moment of cherry blossom season, Sakura Matsuri festivities extend beyond BBG’s spring blooms with over 60 energetic and dynamic performances, demonstrations, and exhibits, many of which have been commissioned to showcase the best of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. The festival’s distinctive entertainment and community spirit attracts one of the largest, most colorful audiences for a cultural event in the city.
Sakura Matsuri 2014 features a focus on Japanese fashion, with runway shows of the BBG Parasol Society and cosplay enthusiasts and presentations of traditional kimono wear. BBG’s Cosplay Fashion Show—the only outdoor cosplay fashion show in the country—presents more than 20 of the city’s most extravagant and talented cosplayers to a crowd of thousands.
Many performers travel from Japan annually to participate in BBG’s Sakura Matsuri, including Ryukyu Chimdon Band, a bubbly Okinawan pop band; the Home Island Project of Shikoku, presenting a festive Awa Odori parade; and nonagenarian tea ceremony master Soumi Shimizu. Other festival artists hail from the five boroughs, including Soh Daiko, the East Coast’s premier taiko drum ensemble; composer Hitomi Himekawa and effervescent J-pop group the Rainbow Bubble Girls; and Yoshi Amao, longtime Sakura Matsuri master of ceremonies, martial artist, and samurai sword expert. Additional programming includes samurai sword demonstrations, traditional Japanese dance, demos in Japanese arts such as ikebana flower arranging, hands-on workshops in manga, origami, and other activities for children and families.
NOTE TO PRESS:
A press preview/photo opportunity will take place on Tuesday, April 22, 2014, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Preregistration for the press preview is necessary and space is limited; to preregister for the press preview or for press passes to Sakura Matsuri, please send name, media affiliation, and email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org by April 18. Press passes will be distributed during Sakura Matsuri at BBG’s entrance at 990 Washington Avenue.
High-resolution images of Sakura Matsuri and the cherry blossom season at BBG are available at bbg.org/press. To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact email@example.com or 718-623-7241.
Sakura Matsuri favorites returning in 2014 include the following:
BBG’s Osborne Garden will feature manga and other contemporary Japanese culture, including the following:
Kids’ activities include the following:
The full event schedule is available at bbg.org/visit/event/sakura_matsuri_2014. The cherry display is tracked on BBG’s web-based CherryWatch feature, which maps the main part of the collection and provides a daily blooming status for each tree, as well as detailed information about each cultivar. This year, the Garden encourages visitors to share their own cherry blossom images—amateur or professional—on social media, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, using the hashtag #bbgcherries. Photographers can also post images in BBG’s visitor photo pool on Flickr.
Admission to Sakura Matsuri is $25 for adults and $20 for students (12 to 17) and seniors (65 and over). BBG members and children under 12 years of age enter for free. Admission fees will be charged all weekend during Sakura Matsuri. Events are free with Garden admission and will be held rain or shine.
Advance tickets can be purchased online. Brooklyn Botanic Garden members and ticket holders skip the lines. Visit bbg.org/support/join to become a BBG member.
Lead sponsorship for Sakura Matsuri 2014 is provided by National Grid.