Shinkendo demonstration at last year's West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)
Shinkendo demonstration at last year’s West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

WEST COVINA — The annual West Covina Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off spring and celebrates the cherry blossom season on Saturday, March 19, at South Hills Plaza, 1420 S. Azusa Ave. at Aroma Drive.

To accommodate all visitors, additional parking will be available at nearby satellite lots. Go online to, for more information. Shuttle services from those parking lots will be provided all day by the City of West Covina. The event is free and open to the public.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is an opportunity for the city to welcome residents of the local community as well as visitors from the greater community to gather with the common enjoyment, interest and desire of experiencing Japanese flavors, sights and sounds. This is a chance to learn about Japanese culture; sample a variety of Japanese and Japanese American cuisines such as gyoza, chicken teriyaki, and Spam musubi; enjoy traditional music and dance performances; watch a judo demonstration; shop a wide variety of merchants; and be entertained by taiko drums.

Entertainment will begin at 12:30 p.m., with the last performance at 5:30 p.m. For a complete schedule, visit There will also be a special presentation by the West Covina City Council.

For the past 15 years, the East San Gabriel Valley Japanese Community Center and the City of West Covina have partnered on various projects and programs, including the promotion and preservation of the cultural heritage unique to Japanese American members of the community.

The ESGVJCC and the city also sponsor a sister-city program with Ohtawara in Tochigi Prefecture. Funds raised from the Cherry Blossom Festival will support the Sister City Student Exchange Program this summer, as well as the various social, artistic, recreational and educational programs offered at the ESGVJCC.

For additional information, call the ESGVJCC at (626) 960-2566 or the City of West Covina at (626) 939-8430.

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