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2017 Annual Buffalo Cherry Blossom festival

Each year, Buffalonians come together at the Buffalo History Museum to celebrate nature, culture, and art. The celebration is jam packed with all sorts of events and activities. Since 2014, the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival has been attracting a wide variety of people, who come to partake in traditional Japanese traditions, while honoring this wonderful garden gem that is found along the banks of Mirror Lake in Delaware Park.

Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival – April 29 to May 6, 2017.

This family-friendly event is an eye opener into Japanese culture, and how Buffalo has embraced its Sister City Kanazawa, Japan. In 2017, visitors to the festival can expect to find pink boat rides, Maypoles, picnics, parades, musicians, drum circles and an Instrument Zoo.

Following is the schedule of activities:

Saturday, April 29,  12 – 2pm 
Festival Opening Ceremony and Madama Butterfly Opera Preview 
on the Portico of TBHM.
12:00  Press conference
Including  Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Joe Koessler, Honorary Consul-General, Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japanese Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, Consul-General of Japan in New York, New York State Senator Chris Jacobs, 60th Senate District, and Mayor Byron W. Brown, City of Buffalo and Paula Hinz, Festival Co-Chariman.

12:30  Cherry Tree Planting in the Garden, donated by Lockhouse Distillery 

1:00  Poetry reading by Janna Willoughby-Lohr aka MC Vendetta
          Japanese Folk Dance performance by Odori no Kai

1:15  Madama Butterfly Opera Preview by Buffalo Opera Unlimited
​          Soprano Holly Bewlay as Cio-Cio-san will perform the aria “Un bel di vedremo.” She will be joined by tenor Robert Zimmerman as Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton in the love duet “Vogliatemi bene” and by mezzo-soprano Kaleigh Sutula as Suzuki in “Tutti i fior” (known as The Flower Duet).

Sunday, April 30,   12 – 3pm 
Family Day
Celebrate the festival inside the museum and outside in the Garden including puppet shows, an Instrument Zoo provided by Music is Art origami and crafts for children.

Participate in a pink parade, try out Tai Chi, ride in a pink boat on Mirror Lake or grab a bite to eat at a food truck.

10 am: Explore Buffalo Lincoln Parkway Tour*. (
12:30: ‘The Bamboo Princess’ a Japanese fairytale Puppet Show in the Auditorium of the History Museum
1:30pm: Pink Parade (immediately after the first Puppet Show)-Bring you ‘Pinkest’ scarf, skirt or sweater!
2:30pm: ‘The Bamboo Princess’ a Japanese fairytale Puppet Show in the Auditorium of the History Museum

Cherry Pit Tent-located between the parking lot and The History Museum (East side)
12:00- 3:00  Instrument Zoo by Music is Art

Vendors for the Day- located between the parking lot and The History Museum (West side)
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Garden Walk Buffalo, Mentholatum, BuffaLove Apparel 

Food Trucks for the Day-located between the parking lot and The History Museum (West side)
The Great Foodini 
Ms. Judi’s Food Truck
The Flaming Fish

Monday, May 1,  4:30 – 6:30pm
Campus House Cherry Blossom Fusion Party*
A Cherry Blossom Festival Fusion Food themed party at Buffalo State College’s Campus House
​created in collaboration with this year’s Hospitality Students.
4:30pm   Cash Bar & Matcha Ceremonial Green Tea Station, Savory Fusion sampling stations
5:15pm     Celebrity Student Chef Demonstration by Darian Bryan. Darian will demonstrate a variety of foods fusing Japanese and Caribbean Flavors      
6:30pm     Parting Gifts for all attendees

$20 per person, all proceeds go to Friends of the Japanese Garden

Driving Directions: Enter Buffalo State at the Iroquois Drive Entrance. Campus House is the first building on your right. Parking available in campus parking lots.

Monday, May 1 – Friday,  May 5
Self-Guided Spring Walk
Bring a picnic and enjoy a stroll through the cherry trees.
Listen  to the the Japanese Garden’s Mobile Audio Tour presented by Wegmans  and powered by

Wednesday, May 3, 5 – 7:30pm 
Cocktail Party at 5pm
Traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony at 6pm*
​Join us to try out the new featured Sakura Gin Cocktail ‘The Olmsted’ by Lockhouse Distillery 

Enjoy an evening of cocktails and culture. Japanese Traditional Tea ceremony will include English interpretation and time for Q & A, at TBHM Auditorium.
*Museum Admission applies. Members are free. 

Saturday, May 6,  11am
‘Cherry Blossom Challenge’ Orienteering
Navigate your way on a 2.8 km course that starts and ends at the Japanese Garden traversing Delaware Park including the History Museum, Hoyt Lake, Marcy Casino, Rose Garden, Rumsey Woods, Mirror Lake and the Japanese Garden.
Register and start at 11:00 am near the Buffalo History Museum on Nottingham Terrace near Elmwood Avenue. Designed for any experience level, walkers or runners. Instruction available. Register in advance to guarantee a map. A limited number of additional maps will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. $10 registration fee ($5 members) includes instruction, meet and 5-color map.  Questions about the event? Email the Meet Director: David Cady, or call him at (716) 837-3737. 
Event #1 of the Get Out There and Get Started Series

Saturday, May 6, 12 – 3pm
Music Day
Celebrate Music Day by sitting on the steps of the Portico and enjoying the music, entertainment and a view of the garden.
Try your hand at the Drum Circle, ride in a pink boat on Mirror Lake or  grab a bite to eat at a food truck.
Music Featuring: Jazz Bands from Kanazawa, Japan and Hamburg High School and The Middlemen.

Lower Portico
12:00 Kanazawa Jazz Ensemble & Hamburg High School Band
1:00   Japan Group of Buffalo Chorus
1:30  Taiko Drum Performance
2:00 Middlemen

Cherry Pit
12:00- 1:30  Nickel City String Band
1:30 -3:00   Drum Circle

Vendors for the Day:
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Garden Walk Buffalo, Mentholatum, BuffaLove Apparel 

Food Trucks for the Day:
Louisiana Cookery  
Ms. Judi’s Food Truck
The Grove Juice

North Park Theatre Japanese Film Festival*
Weekend mornings 1428 Hertel Avenue
April 8: Tampopo Newly Restored version  (Japanese w/subtitiles) $7.50 (11:15am)
​ April 9: My Neighbor Totoro (Japanese w/subtitiles) $5 (11:30am)

Hosted by Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival and Friends of the Japanese Garden of Buffalo

April 29 – May 6, 2017

Japanese Garden at Buffalo History Museum

Buffalo, New York 14216

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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