Halau Hula ‘a ‘ala Anuhea performs at the Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival. (MARIO GERSHOM REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

MONTEREY PARK — While it’s unfortunate and disappointing that the Cherry Blossom Festival and other events have been canceled this season, there is some good news about the event.

The City of Monterey Park’s Cherry Blossom Festival has been recognized as an outstanding achievement in community special events in the state of California. The City of Monterey Park received an Award of Excellence from the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) on March 13 at its annual conference in Long Beach in the “Creating Community-Arts and Cultural Services” category.

The Creating Community-Award of Excellence category recognizes outstanding initiatives by agencies for their effort to deliver the highest level of recreation and leisure programs and services that embody and embrace the values and mission of the recreation profession and moves the agency toward a stronger role within the community. The Arts and Cultural Services category recognizes programs, initiatives or special events that celebrate community character and reinforce the value of visual, performing or historic resources.

The City of Monterey Park’s Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Barnes Park every April, to coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorating the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C. Monterey Park’s two-day regional festival is a showcase of a wide array of traditional and contemporary Japanese arts encouraging cultural exchange and appreciation. The Monterey Park Cherry Blossom Festival continues each year through the efforts of a volunteer committee that seeks donations to support the event.

The CPRS Award of Excellence is the highest recognition an agency can receive and this award is a credit to the efforts of the Cherry Blossom Festival Committee, Recreation and Community Services staff, and event sponsors and volunteers that continue to support the festival each year.

For more information about Monterey Park’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival, visit www.MontereyPark.ca.gov/CherryBlossom, email recreation@montereypark.ca.gov or call (626) 307-1388.

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