Cherry Blossom Festival Kicks Off Saturday


The Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off this Saturday at the Japanese Friendship Garden in Balboa Park. This year the event will be dedicated to earthquake and tsunami survivors in Japan.

Festival-goers will be able to make donations to help survivors and sign a special book being sent to Sendai with notes of encouragement and support.

"We always look forward to the Cherry Blossom Festival each year, because it is the beginning of spring and coming out of the winter and we were really looking forward to a very festive occasion, but at the same time events in Japan have basically changed the direction we wanted to go," said Dennis Otsugi, president of the Japanese Friendship Garden.

This year's event will be full of food, Japanese gift items, demonstrations, exhibitions, cultural dances, performances and the Little Miss Sakura pageant for girls aged four to six-years-old.

The festival is free with paid admission to the park, which is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, military and students. Children 17 and under are free with a paid adult admission. The festival runs from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

For more information about the garden and the festival visit them online.

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