Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Thirty is a nice round number. If one is celebrating a thirtieth anniversary, traditionally one receives pearls. In modern times, one receives diamonds. For the 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival, every visitor who walked through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden received many gems: Good weather, tremendous performances, entertaining activities, and – most important – gorgeous cherry blossoms.

I had a lovely time at Sakura Matsuri on Saturday. You can read my story for The Epoch Times here. You can see other photos and read a few of my favorite quotes from the day below.

Timing is everything - The blossoms were in full bloom along the Cherry Esplanade

This is the only time I don't hate the color pink!

Scot Medbury, President & CEO of Brooklyn Botanic Garden

"Our hearts really do go out to our friends and colleagues in northern Japan as we joyfully celebrate the rich culture and traditions that brought us all here together today."
- BBG president and CEO Scot Medbury
Opening ceremony of the 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival

Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki

"I think cherry trees now stand as a testament to the close connections between two of the world's greatest cities: Brooklyn and Tokyo."
- Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Consul General of Japan in New York

Ambassador Hiroki

" . . . it is fitting that under this canopy of cherry blossoms, we gather united in support of the victims of the devastating Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11."
- Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz

"No nation is exempt from national tragedies, but we all know . . . that there is only one race on this planet, and that is the human race."
- Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President

The gregarious Marty Markowitz had the two most thoughtful quotes I heard on Saturday. He mispronounced the name of the festival – saying "Sakury Matsuri" instead of "Sakura Matsuri" – but I could tell he has a big heart. His constituents must love him. (I'm not being sarcastic.)

(l-r) BBG President Scot Medbury, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, BBG Director Emeritus Elizabeth Scholtz

"We open our hearts and our hands to the survivors who struggle to rebuild their lives and who, along with the mighty nation of Japan, like the magnificent cherry blossom, will be reborn stronger and brighter than ever."
- Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President

Brightly colored parasol

Cherry blossom kimono

A diva is born

My bento!

Standing room only outside the main stage

Cosplayers pose for pictures

Yoshi Amao, Master of Ceremonies

Soh Daiko

Kayo Yoshioka, lead singer of Neo Blues Maki

Network Time Filler - Saying tongue twisters in between sets

Samurai Sword Soul

Members of happyfunsmile before their performance

30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival at Brooklyn Botanic Garden


Anonymous said...

Great photos Suze!!


VENUS said...

The pictures taken are wonderful. So refreshing to see all of this color after a cold, harsh winter.

allie said...

I'm so sad that I wasn't able to attend the matsuri this year :( I did last year and it was a ton of fun! Will you also be coming to the cherry blossom festival on Long Island this Saturday? http://www.ryushukan.com/matsuri

Catsparella said...

I'm sorry I wasn't able to make it to the festival this year :( Thanks for sharing these beautiful pics!

shrinecastle said...

Glad everyone likes the photos!

D.F. - I aspire to be as talented with the camera as you.

Venus - It's wonderful not to have snow all over the place!

Allie - I'm not sure yet what my plans are for this weekend, but I'm considering the Cherry Blossom Festival on Long Island.

Catsparella - First of all, I love your blog! I have a lot more pictures to post, so keep an eye out for them. I didn't see any cats at Sakura Matsuri, though. :)