HUNTINGTON BEACH — The OC Cherry Blossom Festival will be held on Friday, April 14, from 5 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Central Park Bandstand, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach.
The annual spring celebration of Japanese and Japanese American culture in Southern California brings together a broad spectrum of performers and activities that span the traditional to the contemporary. Taiko drumming, minyo, classical dance, gagaku music, origami, and ikebana are presented alongside cosplay contests, anime characters, electronic music, jazz, video game tournaments and beyond.
The event also celebrates Huntington Beach’s sister-city relationship with Anjo, Aichi Prefecture, which was officially incorporated in 1992 and includes a high school exchange program.
Of course, the event is also all about tasting the best of more than 15 Japanese food and drink vendors in the region at the Sakura Night Market.
Opening ceremony on Friday at 5 p.m., followed by performances by Takumi Kato Taiko, Yu-Ki Shamisen Jazz, SystemLive, and Ryujin Taiko. Sakura Night Light Show at 8:30 p.m.
Entertainment on Saturday will include children’s author Sunny Seki, Hanabi Taiko, Kodama Taiko, Faded Fortunes, Taikomotion, violinist Lunoi Mitani, Ryujin Taiko and Little Tokyo Dance, Kolohe Ukulele of Huntington Beach, Maid Academy, Viorythm, Happy Man, and singer Stephanie Yanez. Sakura Night Light Show at 8:30 p.m.
The lineup on Sunday includes Takumi Kato Taiko, a tree-planting ceremony, The Wagaku Collective, Pom Pom Girls, Dance Space Al Vibration, Katori Shinto Ryu (martial arts), Miru Daru (singers), Irvine Cheer, Happy Man, Wang Xiao Ling, G-Moto, and BASE.
The more than 20 craft and merchandise vendors will include Ingkarat Apparel, Pika Dude, and Pugnacious.
Free parking along Talbert Avenue. $1 parking at Sports Complex. For more information, visit: https://www.occbfest.com/