The weekend weather forecast for New York shows sunshine and high 60s, so what better way to spend it than outside enjoying nature? This Saturday and Sunday, April 30th and May 1st, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is hosting one of the most popular and gorgeous events of the year: the 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Festival! The festival is the culmination of the four weeks of Hanami, the Japanese cultural tradition of viewing and cherishing the beautiful cherry blossom season. The weekend will be dedicated to celebrating traditional and contemporary Japanese culture and there will be something for all ages. According to the cherry blossom map, most of the garden’s trees are in peak bloom, so this is definitely an event that you don’t want to miss!
The festival kicks-off Saturday morning, and the events will be held rain or shine, but with spring and sunshine finally here it seems that the festival couldn’t have come at a better time You can purchase tickets online or when you arrive at the BBG, seniors (65+) and student 12 and older are $10, adult admission is $15 and children under 12 and BBG members are free!
In addition to the tours of the BBG that run throughout both days, there will be Taiko Drumming performed by Soh Daiko from at the Cherry Esplanade Stage followed by a “Make Your Own Tea Bag” workshop, which is perfect for kids. All day Saturday, you also have the chance to meet the father of Sudoku, Maki Kaii. Be sure to check out Becky Yee‘s Back to the Streets: Shotengai Sato Gaeri Photo Exhibition at the Magnolia Plaza.
Many of the events held Saturday will continue into Sunday, plus many more wonderful Japanese traditions will take place. The performance “Samurai Sword Soul‘s Split Spirits/Spirit Splits: A Samurai Drama” will be put on at the Cherry Esplanade Stage, and you can join Jeremy Aaron Horland for Origami Paper Folding at the peaceful Lily Pool Terrace. When you get hungry, just head over to the amphitheater for a cooking demonstration. Momo Sushi Shack’s Chef Makoto Suzuki and Phillip Gilmour will be making and serving authentic dashi.
The full list of events and times are available at BBG. With gorgeous weather on the way, why wouldn’t you want to spend your weekend outside celebrating one of the oldest and most beautiful cultures in the world? We’ll see you there!
Lead Image © Jose Oquendo via Creative Commons