MONTEREY PARK — The 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival and the City of Monterey Park will present the 18th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday, April 18, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 9, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Barnes Park, 350 S. McPherrin Ave. in Monterey Park.

Members of Azuma Kotobuki no Kai (above) and Mai no Kai (below) at last year's Cherry Blossom Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Members of Azuma Kotobuki no Kai (above) and Mai no Kai (below) at last year’s Cherry Blossom Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Planned and coordinated by community volunteers, the Cherry Blossom Festival strives to provide a cultural arts event that offers a forum for learning, entertainment, fun, and support of community. Entry is free to the public.

Take the time to see, hear, and taste a bit of the Japanese and Japanese American culture through a first-hand experience of watching traditional Japanese dancing, hearing the resounding beats of the taiko drums, observing the mastery and various skills of martial arts, participating in the ancient art of the tea ceremony, or buying hand-made crafts or food with an Asian flair. Other highlights of the festival include games and crafts for children, and numerous cultural displays.

Raffle tickets are only $2 each. The top prize is $1,000. Other prizes include restaurant, salon and car wash certificates. Drawing will be held on Sunday. Winners need not be present.

kyo no kai2Special guests will include Consul General Harry Horinouchi, actor Rodney Kageyama, Shin Ito, former director of Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches, 2015 Miss Kimono Kayoko Yoshimura, 2015 Mr. Kimono Fumi Mashimo, and Miss Kimono First Runner-up Yuuka Suzuki.

On both days, Sogetsu Ikebana will be offering mini-flower arranging classes from 2 to 5 p.m. Materials fee is $5.

Free shuttle service is available from Langley Senior Center, 400 W. Emerson Ave.; Ynez Elementary School, 120 S. Ynez Ave.; and Repetto Elementary School, 650 S. Grandridge Ave.

For more information, call (626) 307-1390 or visit

The performance schedule is as follows (subject to change without notice):

Saturday, April 18

Field Stage

11 a.m.: Yoki Daiko

11:30 a.m.: Mark Keppel High School Aztec Singers

12 p.m.: Opening ceremony

12:45 p.m.: Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Okinawan taiko)

1 p.m.: Garvey Ranch Dojo

1:30 p.m.: Halau Hula ‘a’ ala Anuhea

2 p.m.: June Kuramoto (koto)

2:45 p.m.: Taiko Project

3:30 p.m.: Fujima Kansei (Japanese classical dance)

4 p.m.: David Torres Kempo Karate

4:40 p.m.: Local Mojo (band)

Indoor Stage

11 a.m.: Origami demonstration by Michael Sanders

12 p.m.: Koto group

1 p.m.: Kotobuki no Kai

2 p.m.: Sushi demonstration by Andy Matsuda of Sushi Chef Institute

3 p.m.: Anime cosplay contest by Infotakus and PMX

4 p.m.: Japanese dance

5 p.m.: Illusions by Allen Oshiro

Sunday, April 19

Field Stage

11 a.m.: Mark Keppel High School Pep Band

11:30 a.m.: Yuujou Daiko

12 p.m.: Kuntau Martial Arts

12:30 p.m.: Koshin Taiko

1 p.m.: U.S.-Chinese Wu Shu Martial Arts

1:20 p.m.: Azuma Kotobuki Kai (Japanese classical dance)

2 p.m.: Kyodo Taiko

3:15 p.m.: Ohana Polynesian Dancers

4 p.m.: Taiko Center of Los Angeles

4:30 p.m.: Kokoro (band)

Indoor Stage

11 a.m.: Magic Wayne

12 p.m.: Kayama Puppet Troupe

1 p.m.: Children’s folktales by Sunny and Judy Seki

2 p.m.: Manju demonstration by Brian Kito of Fugetsu-do

3 p.m.: PMX Doll Delight Fashion Show

4 p.m.: Nagauta (traditional Japanese music/kabuki)

4:30 p.m.: Urasenke tea ceremony

5 p.m.: Anime songs by Momotama

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