One of Mother Nature’s most glorious spring productions is masses of cherry blossoms, from deep pink to snow white. The City of Brotherly Love would like to welcome you to its annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, a celebration of the delicate beauty of these flowering Japanese cherry trees.
This is the 15th year for the festival, held in Philadelphia and sponsored by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. Dates are March 23 – April 21, when tens of thousands of visitors will oooh and aaah at the spectacular sight of millions of flowers offered each spring. A hundred years ago Japan donated cherry trees to the nation’s capital, Washington DC, as a gesture of friendship, and then in 1926 Philadelphia received a friendly donation of 1,600 flowering trees as well. The cherry blossom is Japan’s national flower and is held in high esteem, and Philadelphia is proud to share the beautiful springtime bounty with its visitors! There are about a hundred species of ornamental cherry tree species, varying in color, hardiness, size of blossom and blooming time; some of those you will see in Philadelphia include Yoshino, Akebono, Sargent, Accolade, Mt. Fuji, Weeping Cherry and Usuzumi.The Japan America Society’s goal is to encourage a greater understanding of Japanese cultures and customs, as well as to raise money for its Community Tree Planting Project which continues to beautify Philadelphia’s parks.
What’s there to do at the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, you ask? First, there’s the annual Blossom Bash benefit , offering cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, sushi, a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions. This fancy event takes place March 23 at 6:30 pm at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. April 15 brings the Cherry Blossom 5K, so lace up your tennies and join the fun!
Also on April 15th is the signature event of the festival, known as Sakura Sunday. Head to Fairmount Park, largest landscaped park in the country, to take part in centuries-old Japanese traditions such as Kabuki dance, origami and other artwork, fashion and music. Hours are from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm and the entrance fee is $5 for adults, with kids 14 and under free. It’s a lot of fun to walk around, enjoying Philadelphia’s beautiful springtime weather, soaking in Japanese arts and culture. Pets on leashes are allowed. Plenty of food and drink vendors will be onsite, so plan to make a day of it. You can bring in your own food and create a picnic with your family if you’d like, too.
Sakura Sunday’s activities include watching traditional drumming, dancing and demonstrations of calligraphy, karate and origami. There are also workshops where you can learn how to create traditional craft works. There’s a Prettiest Pet in Pink Contest, with judges choosing the best costumed dogs and cats, and a fashion show where area students display their Japanese-inspired designs. Children will delight in story-telling time, listening to the tale about a boy born from a peach pit.
Events are held throughout Philadelphia during this popular month-long festival. Art, film, stories, crafts, sushi-making classes, tea ceremonies, flower arranging, traditional Kabuki dance, artwork and film are just some of what’s offered. Venues include Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Kimmel Center , Swarthmore College, various libraries throughout the city, West Chester University, the Horticulture Center, and the University of Pennsylvania. There’s something for everyone!
When visiting this festival, plan to spend a few days in Philadelphia visiting its plethora of historic sites and attractions. See where the Declaration of Independence was written by Thomas Jefferson, explore nature at Valley Forge National Historic Park or Longwood Gardens, take your kids to the first zoo in the country, or spend some time browsing the exhibits at the renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can also tour Edgar Allen Poe’s home or tour the Civil War and Underground Railroad Museum. And of course, you gotta have a Philly Steak Sandwich – this is the city where the delicious fare was invented!
To enjoy one of the best displays of cherry blossoms anywhere in one of the most historic and beautiful cities in the U.S., the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival offers an experience like no other.
With any major event or attraction, creating great travel plans can make or break your experience. For the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival, making your travel plans as far in advance as possible is helpful. An option is to book a Philadelphia PA hotel and air package deal. If you are bringing the whole family, never fear as we offer all the Philadelphia PA discount hotels at the lowest prices. If you are budget-minded, check out our Philadelphia Pennsylvania Last-Minute Weekend Deals for unbelievably low prices.