Cherry Blossom Festivals
Cherry blossom festivals aren’t just in Japan, although that’s the place most of us think of when we think of these trees and their gorgeous blossoms. Although Japan is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms and the festivals that go along with them, there are plenty of cherry blossom festivals to find right here in the United States.
There are several, in fact. Whether you live in my home state of Georgia, or all the way in Hawaii, the US has some wonderful festivals at which you can enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms in the spring.
The Best Cherry Blossom Festivals in the US
There are more cherry blossom festivals in the US than you might think. This hearty tree can grow in all types of climates, which means that you can find their beautiful blooms and the festivals surrounding them in all parts of the country. These festivals are a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty of these blooms, as well as the atmosphere surrounding them.
1. The International Cherry Blossom Festival – Macon, GA
The International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia has won numerous Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle awards throughout the years, and it’s easy to see why. The fest showcases Macon’s cherry trees in all their beautiful majesty. This Cherry Blossom Festival is one of my favorites!
Visitors can take the Cherry Blossom Trail, which guides visitors on a blossom-filled route through the city, beginning at the Visitor’s Center in downtown Macon and running all the way through the heart of the city.
Related: Top Things To do in Macon Georgia
2. The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. is a four-week affair, celebrating the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Yukio Ozaki, Mayor of Tokyo to the city and the on-going freindship between the United States and Japan.
Every year, the festival welcomes over 1.5 million people, offering the natural beauty of the cherry blossoms, traditional and contemporary arts and culture, and community spirit. Almost all events are free and open to the public.
3. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival – San Francisco, CA
The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Franciso, California is one of the state’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions and the biggest on the West Coast. Every year, over 220,000 people attend the festival which has been devoted to Asian culture and the continued bond of friendship between Japan and the United States since 1968. It’s a four-day celebration that is free and open to the public.
4. The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival – Nashville, TN
Coming into its 12th year, The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival is a relatively new festival, but it has become quite popular in the region. Visitors to the festival can enjoy Japanese merchandise, artwork, anime, the “Taste of Japan”, music, dance, martial arts, and more.
There is even a cosplay contest and a roving Japanese Candyman. Of course, visitors will also enjoy The Cherry Blossom Walk itself, a 2.5-mile course that begins and ends at Nashville’s Public Square.
5. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia first took place in 1998, Since then, it’s continued a legacy of sharing Japanese culture and honoring the centuries-old tradition of Sakura Matsuri throughout Philadelphia with events like ceremonial drumming, a traditional tea ceremony, dancing, live music, a fashion show, and much more.
Visitors can enjoy many of these cultural events, along with beautiful blossoms, at the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. Many other events are available, as well, and most are free.
6. The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival – Seattle, WA
The Seattle Cherry Blossom & Japanese Cultural Festival is a week-long celebration of Japanese and Japanese-American culture. What began as a small celebration at Seattle’s Seward Park in 1976 has become a massive celebration with hundreds of thousands of attendees. This award-winning festival is free and features cultural education programs, arts, technology Japanese heritage, and of course, those beautiful blossoms.
7. Cherry Blossom Festival – Aiea, HI
The Cherry Blossom Festival in Aiea, HI is one of the longest-running ethnic festivals in the state of Hawaii. Now in its 69th year, the festival focuses on Japanese heritage, culture, arts, and more. Visitors can expect to learn their fair share about the beautiful cherry blossoms which are showcased, as well as the culture and history surrounding them.
8. San Diego, CA Cherry Blossom Week
Formerly known as Cherry Blossom Festival, San DiegoCherry Blossom Week welcomes the spring season with beautiful blooms and lots of cultural enrichment. This week-long celebration features all types of vendors, the cherry blossoms themselves, koi ponds, bonsai trees, Japanese culture and history, and more. Cherry Blossom Week is hosted at The Japanese Friendship Garden and does require admission, but it is worth it.
9. Virginia Beach, VA
Cherry Blossom Festival
The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of both spring and Japanese culture. Along with its sister city, Miyazaki, Virginia Beach hosts this annual celebration which features the beautiful cherry blossoms of the area along with music, dance, arts, martial arts demonstrations, community vendors, and more.
10. Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival – Conyers, GA
The award-winning Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival has been honored with multiple accolades like Best Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Festival and Events Association and has been selected as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. This festival features music, dance, games, food, crafts, and of course, lovely cherry blossoms.
It’s time to register for the Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival! If you wish to become an exhibitor, food vendor, or entertainer, the deadline is approaching. Applications are due by December 31, 2019! Download your application online at https://t.co/WhrMbrl5UA. pic.twitter.com/pTqDk2jfqo
— Ga Intl Horse Park (@GaIntlHorsePark) December 18, 2019
11. Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival – Brookhaven, GA
Dubbed a music and arts extravaganza, the Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival is bursting with energy and activities for everyone, young or old. Featuring live music, art, a kid zone, the ever-popular car show, and a host of food and drink options, this cherry blossom festival is perhaps one of the “festiest” fests, you’ll ever attend.
12. Cherry Blossom Day – Salem, OR
Located at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, OR Cherry Blossom Day is a celebration of spring, 151 Akebono cherry trees in full, glorious bloom, and Japanese culture. This event features music, performances, a Japanese tea ceremony, taiko drums, samplings from the cherry industry, and much more. Admission is free and the event happens rain or shine.
13. Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival – Boston, MA
The Brookline Cherry Blossom Festival is a collaboration between The Genki Spark and the Brookline High School Japanese Program. In partnership with such organizations as Showa Boston, Japan Society of Boston, and more, the festival takes place at Brookline High School and features Japanese cultural exhibits, games, crafts, music, and more. It’s a small festival but the charm is wonderful.
14. Dallas Blooms – Dallas, TX
While not a festival, the Dallas Blooms, a spring event at the Dallas Arboretum, is one of the best places in Texas to take in beautiful spring cherry blossoms. While the event focuses on all the beautiful colors of spring blooms, visitors will be able to enjoy the over 100 cherry trees in full bloom during the event.
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15. Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival, Marshfield, MO
The Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival is a three-day event that celebrates both the beautiful blossoms of the state and the many famous and historical personalities which have come from the state. Visitors can enjoy famous speakers, speakers descended from presidents, celebrities hailing from Missouri, arts, food, and more.
Related: Branson Missouri Travel Guide
So Many Cherry Blossom Festivals to See
Cherry trees will soon be in full bloom all across the country, and in many cities all across the country, cherry blossom festivals will be in full-swing, as well.
With cherry blossom festivals from the East Coast to the West Coast, there are many places to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms, Japanese culture and the arts, and so much more. If you are near any of the above festival locations, you owe it to yourself to visit and see the beauty of these blossoms and the culture that surrounds them.