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  • Writer's pictureMaanasi Sridhar

Cherry Blossom Festivals in the Tri-State Area

It seems like this winter is going to be one for the record books. What with a bomb cyclone, multiple nor’easters and bone-chilling cold added to the mix, we’ve just about had enough already! But you know what? Spring will be upon us in a few weeks and I couldn’t be more excited for some warm weather, and the Cherry Blossom Festival!

If you live in the Tri-State Area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut), mark your calendar for the event in a location closest to you.

Brooklyn Botanical Garden (Brooklyn, New York)

New York’s most eagerly awaited Sakura Matsuri Festival in the 52-acre Brooklyn Botanical Garden will take place on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, 2018. It offers nearly 60 events and performances celebrating Japanese culture and traditions.

BBG's Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden was the first Japanese garden to be created in an American public garden It is also the most visited Japanese-inspired gardens outside Japan.Wooden bridges, stone lanterns, a viewing pavilion, the 'torii' or gateway, and a Shinto shrine are among the major architectural elements of the garden.

Central Park (Manhattan, New York)

Although Central Park doesn’t have an official festival to commemorate spring, you won’t need a reason to visit this beautiful urban park at the heart of New York City. In spring cherry blossoms can be seen throughout the park. Just head over to these locations inside the park:

-Cherry Hill

-Bridal path (90th street)

-Boat house (74th street)

(You can get free inside information from the Central Park Conservancy's bloom guide.)

New York Botanical Garden (The Bronx, New York)

The New York Botanical Garden’s Cherry Valley features more than 200 flowering cherry trees. Founded in 1891, and now a National Historic Landmark is one of the best botanical gardens in the world. Enjoyed by all generations, especially young children and families, this 250-acre garden is also the largest in any city in the United States.

(Visit: NYBG's annual Orchid Show.)

Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival (Roosevelt Island, New York)

There are more than 600 Japanese cherry trees planted on Roosevelt Island (situated in the East River between Manhattan and Queens), the largest single collection in New York City. Thousands are expected to take the famous Roosevelt Island Tramway to witness the island’s Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival will includes Japanese cultural, events, traditional tea ceremonies, music, food and performances.

Randall’s Island Cherry Blossom Festival (East Harlem, New York)

Located in the East River between East Harlem, the South Bronx and Astoria, Queens Randall’s Island annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be celebrated on Saturday, April 21, 2018.

Hosted by Randall’s Island Park Alliance the event will include activities such as kite flying, origami, face painting, Yoyo balloon fishing and flower making and also music and calligraphy performances for all to enjoy.

Riverside Park Cherry Walk (New York)

One of only eight officially designated scenic landmarks in the City of New York, head over to Riverside Park’s Cherry Walk, a four-mile-long path along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Street named for its cherry trees (2,000 cherry trees!) along the path between 100th and 125th Streets.

Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (Queens, New York)

The 14th annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival will feature feature live drum performances (Taiko), a traditional Japanese chorus, a Japanese folk dance, and a traditional tea ceremony. The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 11a.m. to 1p.m.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park has many unique features and highlights. The most obvious being the iconic giant stainless steel Unisphere that sits at the center of a large fountain, Citi Field baseball park and the world-class USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

(Visit: the Queens Botanical Garden's Cherry Circle located nearby to view cherry blossoms. Also, the garden will be celebrating the peak of tulip season with the Tulip Time Festival.)

Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival, Branch Brook Park (Newark, New Jersey)

One is bound to fall in love with this 360-acre park designed by the renowned firm of Fredrick Law Olmsted. Home to 5,000 cherry blossom trees, the largest collection in the country! Each spring it transforms into a cherry blossom paradise as gorgeous pink blossoms canopy the park.

This year the 42nd annual Essex County Cherry Blossom festival will take place from April 7 - 15, 2018 at Newark’s Branch Brook Park, featuring two main cultural events— Essex County Family Day and Bloomfest.

Annual Cherry Blossom Festival at Wooster Square (New Haven, Connecticut)

The 45th annual historic Cherry Blossom Festival will take place in historic Wooster Square on Sunday, April 22, 2018. The celebration commemorates the planting of 72 cherry blossom trees in 1973. Pre- celebrations start on Saturday, April 21 with a concert. On Sunday, the schedule comprises of events such as live music, local food vendors, art and crafts plus more than 30 artists and authors will be present.

(Visit: Yale University's historic Old Campus.)

Location: Tri-State area—New York, New Jersey and Connecticut

Photo: Maanasi & Sri

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