SAN FRANCISCO — Musician and actress Kina Grannis will serve as grand marshal for the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival’s Grand Parade, to be held on Sunday, April 16, starting at 1 p.m. at the Civic Center and ending in Japantown.
This year’s festival takes place on the weekends of April 8-9 and 15-16. The parade is traditionally held on the last day.
Grannis was recently featured in the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians,” where she performed her viral cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love“ in the iconic wedding scene. She has performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Ellen” and sold out tours worldwide. Her songs and videos have amassed over a billion streams, and she continues to regularly release music to her millions of followers.
Grannis is currently leading a worldwide campaign to find a life-saving donor for her mother, Trish Sugano Grannis (“Mama G”), who has bone marrow cancer. Kina’s mother is of Japanese descent, and there is very little representation of AAPI folks in the donor registry, so the campaign has gained particularly fervent support.
Supporters include a long list of influencers and celebrities, including actors Gemma Chan, D’arcy Carden, and Harry Shum Jr; youtubers Colleen Ballinger, Kurt Hugo Schneider, and The Bucket List Family; musicians Aloe Blacc; top chef winner Melissa King; and comedian Ronny Chieng.
Grannis and her sisters are looking to share this story far and wide, not only in the hopes of saving their mother, but to save the lives of many others with blood cancers in need of finding their match. They have signed up over 6,000 potential donors already in the US alone, as well as many more worldwide, and they’re only just getting started.
Grannis is partnering with Be The Match, a national organization committed to finding bone marrow donors for patients in need. She and her family will be at the festival hoping to spread the word and find a match for her mother.
“San Franciscooooo. Hi! I’ll be performing a few songs next weekend at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Fesitval in Japantown!” Grannis posted on Facebook. “I have the wonderful honor of being their grand marshal this year, and they have generously offered me a booth so we can do an on-site swab station as well. I’m partnering with Be The Match, who will be there helping folks swab their cheeks and join the bone marrow donor registry — it’s free and easy and could potentially save a life.
“I’ll be performing at 3:30 p.m. at the Peace Plaza in Japantown on Sunday, April 16, and our swab booth will be open all day Sunday (11 a.m.-6 p.m.), as well as all day April 8, 9 and 15! If you’re in the Bay Area, swing by for a quick swab!! My family and I will love you forever.
“We are still searching the globe for a life-saving match for my mom. Thank you to everyone who has already joined the donor registry, as well as to everyone who is about to! SF, see you soon!”
Donor drive website: https://www.dkms.org/get-involved/virtual-drives/amatchformamag
Festival website: https://sfcherryblossom.org/
Artist’s website: https://www.kinagrannis.com/