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Cherry Blossom Festival Coming to Big Island’s Waimea Feb. 4

With Chinese New Year behind us, the next big cultural event for the Big Island will be the annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, the festival will be on Saturday, February 4th in various locations around Waimea – just look for the pink banners marking site locations.

The cherry trees at Church Road should be in full bloom for this year’s festival

This year the Cherry Blossom Festival will tie in with a national event – the 100th anniversary of the planting of cherry trees along the Potomac in Washington. Seedlings were cultivated last fall for planting at the festival using seeds from the Embassy of Japan that are especially suited to Hawaii’s climate. There will be a ceremony at Church Row Park at 10:30 AM to plant a tree.

The festival will have multi-cultural performing arts, demonstrations…AND lots of ono food!

Events at This Year’s Cherry Blossom Festival:

Church Row Park

  • Historical Cherry Tree Display
  • Bonsai: The Waimea Bonyu Kai Bonsai Club offers a display and sale of bonsai.
  • Cooking Demos at Kamuela Hongwanji: Big Isle chefs offer cooking demonstrations with free samples.
  • Japanese Cultural Demos/Entertainment at Kamuela Hongwanji: Enjoy taiko drumming and learn the time-honored art of origami by Kikuko Kibe and furoshiki.
  • Asian Collectibles/Food Sales at Kamuela Hongwanji: Church organizations sell Asian-themed collectibles, cherry blossom note cards, cherry tree seedlings, cherry blossoms in mugs, and Asian foods.
  • Martial Arts demonstrations throughout the day.
  • Food Sales at Imiola Church: Saimin, cherry ice cream, and local delicacies.

Parker Ranch Center

  • Festival Entertainment Stage: In the back parking lot. Opening ceremonies at 9 a.m, bon dance, Kumu Hula Michael Pang’s Hula Halau Ka Noeau.
  • Craft Fair: Over 100 crafters inside center and in the back parking lot, cherry tree seedlings for sale in back parking lot.
  • Mochi Tsuki Pounding: Help pound mochi using 500 pounds of rice with the Kona Hongwanji Mission outside the Fireside Food Court.

Mochi pounding is great fun to watch…and after watching, be sure to join the line for samples

Mana Christian Ohana Church (Formerly Kahilu Town Hall)

  • Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea’s Festival of Quilts: Show by six clubs.
  • Car Show: Hamakua side of parking lot.
  • Firehouse Gallery Art Demos/Exhibition: Waimea Arts Council (WAC) presents a members’ invitational show with a cherry blossom theme.

Parker School

  • Waimea Town Market and Performing Arts, Open 8AM to 1 PM

Paniolo Heritage Center at Historic Pukalani Stables

  • Paniolo Kepani-Hawaii’s Japanese Cowboys, Cowboy breakfast featuring Paniolo Loco Moco, a Japanese cowboy exhibit, talk story sessions by Paniolo Preservation Society featuring Japanese and Hawaiian cultural practices; Big Island Brewhaus hand-crafted beers from 11 a.m. until the kegs run dry.

Kamuela Liquors

  • Sake Tasting: Noon-3 p.m.

With all of this to see and experience, plan on making it a day of fun in Waimea. Just one of the reasons why: Lucky I live Waimea!

I love the Big Island! Aloha.

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