The Japanese Friendship Garden of San Diego kicked off the start of its 13th annual Cherry Blossom Festival Friday.
Cherry Blossom Festivals are annual celebrations of U.S.-Japanese relations with cultural performances, appreciation of cherry blossom flowers, food, and other family-friendly activities.
“What makes this specifically unique to San Diego is that this is the only place you’ll find cherry blossoms here in Balboa Park,” Jon Osio, the Event and Marketing Coordinator for the Japanese Friendship Garden, told NBC 7.
The three-day festival at the Garden in the heart of Balboa Park began Friday, each day lasting from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dozens of food and merchant vendors greeted visitors in the Garden, as well as a handful of performers throughout each day.
Last year, the Garden welcomed over 12,000 people and expected, even more, this year, according to its website.
The Garden is a symbol of friendship between San Diego and its sister city, Yokohama. Its mission is to engage with the diverse backgrounds surrounding Japanese culture and community.
The history of San Diego’s garden comes from a series of hardships and generosity tracking back to 1951.
Today, the Garden is a part of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership to serve as an educational and inspirational landmark.