Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off Tuesday

CREDIT: Provided
CREDIT: Provided

The official kickoff of this year’s 2014 Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is Tuesday morning with a celebration at Shofuso, the Japanese house and gardens in West Fairmount Park.

The festival is a yearly project that not only reinforces the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia’s commitment to plant and maintain cherry trees in the city and its parks, but also to foster a better understanding of the cultural, social and educational customs of Japan.

Tuesday’s ceremony will feature women dressed in kimonos, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the gardens and the official proclamation of this year’s festival. The breaking of sake barrel signifies the opening of the festival which official starts on Wednesday and lasts until April 13. Events include food tastings, cultural events, origami, a 5k race, sushi-making classes and more.

Speakers at Tuesday’s kickoff include Kazumi Teune, executive director of the JASGP; Takeshi Tachimori, president and CEO from presenting sponsor Subaru of America Inc. Adelaide Ferguson, chairperson of the festival, will emcee.

In bloom

  • To date, JASGP has planted more than 1,000 cherry trees.
  • About 1,600 were presented by the Japanese government as a friendship gesture in 1926.
  • In 2007, the JASGP made a 1,000-tree pledge. Now, they plant in community and neighborhood parks like Clark, Franklin Square and Morris.

Learn how to make sushi

Madame Saito, owner of The HeadHouse, will be hoisting sushi-making classes at The HeadHouse Crafe Beer Cafe at 122 Lombard Street in Society Hill. Members can join for fun or be a part of the festival’s amateur Subaru Sushi Samurai of the Year competition at the conclusion of the festival during Sakura Sunday on April 13. Classes are $50.

Classes and times are:

6:30 to 8:30 p.m., April 2
4 to 6 p.m., April 6
6:30 to 8:30 p.m., April 8
6:30 to 8:30 p.m., April 10


FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.


Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…


Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…


NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…


'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…


Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…


"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…


Fall Movie Preview: 10 films to see this…

Despite being awards season, the next four months bring a glut of remakes, rehashes and sequels. Here are 10 that should be better worth your time.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.


Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.


MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb


Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…


Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.


Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…


Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…