Waimea’s famous pink cherry blossoms have emerged and thousands of people are expected to admire the stunning scene during the town’s much-anticipated 21st annual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival.
This year’s festival offers multicultural performing arts such as taiko drumming, hands-on demonstrations, including a Japanese tea ceremony and mochi pounding, and a variety of exhibits. There’s also an opening ceremony with a tree planting; as well as hundreds of crafters and food booths. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at various venues throughout Waimea.
For more than two decades, community groups, churches, temples, clubs, businesses and residents organized this free festival in partnership with the county Department of Parks and Recreation. It marks the blooming of the roughly 60-year-old cherry trees at the historic Church Row Park and celebrates the age-old Japanese tradition of hanami, which translates to “cherry bloom viewing party.”
The origin of hanami dates back to thousands of years ago when Japanese aristocrats enjoyed looking at the beauty of these blooms and wrote poems or stories inspired by the picturesque landscapes. Today, residents and visitors alike flock to various parks to admire this delicate seasonal treat.
For more information, call 961-8706 or visit the festival’s Facebook page.