Cherry Blossom fest becomes a “Japanese cultural event”

NewsWork’s Jenny Swigoda went to this past Saturday’s Cherry Blossom Festival at the Morris Arboretum hoping to snap photos of the beautiful flowering trees. But the long severe winter that hit the Northeast U.S. left the trees looking a little bare.

While some visitors might have been disappointed the arboretum’s festival had a full program of Japanese cultural events: Taiko drummers, Origami, and tours of the Japanese garden.

The good news is that the Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to happen again this Saturday, April 9. Michelle Conners, special events coordinator for the Morris Arboretum, is confident that the trees will be blooming in time for this upcoming Saturday’s festival. The forecast backs up her assertion with daytime highs staying well above 50 degrees through the weekend.

Schedule of events for next Saturday’s festival

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Saturday, April 9th

11am and 11:30am New to the Arboretum this year, River of Life Martial Arts & Wellness Center will perform the ancient Japan swordsmanship technique, “Ken Jutsu.”  Used by the samurai on the battlefield, “Ken Jutsu” is made up of a      sophisticated method of personal combat and strategy that is adapted and applied today to find harmony in one’s life.

1-2pm This year, the Traditional Japanese Tea Demonstration will feature,“Chabako” or Picnic Tea.  Chabako is a unique form of the Japanese Tea Ceremony, designed to be done outdoors with four distinct presentations, one for each of the seasons.  Weather permitting this demonstration will be outside.

 2-3:30pm The final event for the Japanese Cherry Blossom celebration is the Japanese Garden Elements Tour. This tour highlights the Japanese influence on many areas at the Arboretum, featuring the Hill Garden, the Rock Garden in the Fernery and the Overlook Garden.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.

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