The festival will focus on the beauty cherry tree orchard in the Japanese Garden of Buffalo, which is located behind The Buffalo History Museum. The 12-day festival will include tea ceremonies, Japanese music, dance and drumming, kite flying, a pink and white costume parade, informational sessions on the garden and its cherry trees, cherry sapling sales and a Pink Tie Gala.
Festival Chairperson Trudy Stern said the event will give local residents a new rite of Spring where they can shake off their winter blues by reveling in the pink and white cherry blossoms, while being introduced to traditional and modern Japanese culture.
“Snow is falling today, but at festival time there will be showers of beautiful cherry blossoms. There will be outdoor and indoor activities for children and adults,” said Ms. Stern. “
“For those who have never visited the Japanese Garden it will be very memorable to discover this jewel, and for those who cherish this lovely Buffalo treasure, it will be a chance to reconnect and gain a deeper appreciation of the site,” Ms. Stern added.
The Japanese Garden of Buffalo, a symbol of international peace, was a gift from the people of Kanazawa, our sister city in Japan. Kanazawa is home to Kenrokuen Garden, which began as part of an imperial palace and is one of the world’s most famous Japanese gardens.
“The Japanese Consulate in New York is very pleased to support this grass roots celebration. Ambassador Sumio Kusaka has expressed his interest in attending the opening ceremonies and hopes the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival will grow to become an annual tradition,” said Joseph Koessler,” Honorary Consul-General of Japan at Buffalo.
The Japanese Garden in Buffalo’s cherry trees share the same lineage as Washington, D.C,’s massive cherry tree orchards. Although the Buffalo trees are still saplings (the oldest tree is only about 10 years old), they already burst with beautiful pink and white flowers in late April and early May.
Thomas Herrera-Mischler, President and CEO, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, said the garden has seen significant upgrades in plantings and landscaping over the past several years.
“The many blooming cheery trees in Olmsted’s Delaware Park Japanese Garden are a stunning sight to behold, a gift to the people of Western New York each spring,” Mr. Herrera-Mischler said.
To make the new event possible, organizers need to raise $5,000 in seed money by December 31. They are employing an online donation campaign through kickstarter.com
“We think a donation to the festival would make an ideal holiday gift that includes a promise of spring blossoms to come. Suggested donations start at $10, which come with a commemorative pin featuring our logo,” Ms. Stern said.
Well-known Buffalo graphic artist Michael Morgulis, of New Buffalo Graphics, Ms. Stern’s husband, has designed the event’s eye-catching logo. T-shirts, festival posters and limited edition, Morgulis-signed posters are among the premiums for donations between $25 and $500.
Those who donate $700 or more will receive individual tickets or a reserved table for the Pink Tie Cherry Blossom Gala.
A hand-made artisan tea bowl will also be auctioned as a fundraiser and the high bidder will get the seat of “honored guest” at the formal Japanese Tea Ceremony. For more information on the festival, including a video and links to the donation website go to: www.buffalocherryblossomfestival.com