Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Cherry Blossom Time


Members of Ryukukoku Matsuri Daiko welcomed all to Monterey Park’s Annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in Barnes Park on April 16 – 17. They played several traditional folk songs to the beat of the drums. Their music is a prayer for good health and happiness.

Rodney Kageyama, the emcee welcome all to this special event.  He introduced all the special guests, entertainment and enticed the residents to visit all of the booths that featured good food, gifts and the exhibits.

A moment of silence was offered for all the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.


Mayor Pro Tem David Lau, Councilmembers Anthony Wong, Mitch Ing and Teresa Real Sebastian and City Clerk Dave Barron welcomed Junichi Ihara, Council General of Japan to the event.

Mr. Lau welcomed all to this event to celebrate the colorful culture of Japan. He asked the residents not to forget the suffering and pain of the people of Japan. He hopes all the people of the world will help restore the lives and country of Japan. One world – one community. He thanked the organizers, sponsors, volunteers and staff for this wonderful and successful event.

Mr. Ing thanked all for coming to the celebration of the rich culture of Monterey Park.  He asked that everyone please remember the people of Japan. He spoke about how the people in Japan came together in these times of emergency. “One body” is their motto. Lets come together for the people of Japan.

Ms. Real Sebastian said the audience has people of all different backgrounds and ages that are here to celebrate this event. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami caused all of us pain. The Cherry Blossoms are the symbol of spring. It is a time for renewal.

Mr. Wong reminded everyone that in 1912 the Japanese government presented Cherry Blossom trees to the United States government in Washington, D.C. as a symbol of friendship between Japan and America. We are all working together to help the people of Japan recover.

Mr. Barron asked everyone to enjoy the weather and festival. He reminded them in May we will be celebrating the city’s 95th birthday.  Come celebrate it with us here in Barnes Park May 19 – 22.

Mr. Lau asked everyone to please donate to the Japanese Relief Fund at the event.

Mr. Ihara welcomed everyone in Japanese and English. He thanked them for their support of the Japanese people after the earthquake and tsunami. The government is making every effort to rebuild the cities back up after this national disaster.  The cherry trees are a symbol of the U.S. and Japan friendship. 100 years ago the cherry trees were donated to Washington, D.C. Pink cherry trees bloom here in Monterey Park. He thanked all for coming and enjoy this event.



Judy Celedon and Katie White and members of the Los Angeles Kimono Club, dressed in colorful traditional kimonos.


Mark Keppel’s Aztec Singers performed a “Cosmic Fantasy” to the delight of the audience.


Members of the Nippon Minyo Kenkyukas Hoshun Kai performed several traditional folk dances in keeping with the Cherry Blossom spring celebration.  Their kimonos were trimmed in flowers as they gracefully moved across the stage.


Members of Halau Hula ’a’ al Anuhea performed several traditional dances from Hawaii.

The two-day event was filled with traditional folk dances, songs, music, Martial Arts demonstrations, exhibits and a kid zone.




Flower exhibits and flower arranging classes as well as doll exhibits, art exhibits, origami classes and traditional music, magic shows, folk tales and more were offered in the exhibit hall.


A Japanese Tea Ceremony was held during the event. It offered the residents a chance to participate in this ancient ritual.

The event featured many booths that sold traditional food, gifts, plants, purses, blankets, jewelry, clothes, pillows, artwork and more. Information booths offered material to interested residents.


The Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library had a booth that offered residents a chance to create a cherry tree by blowing black ink in a straw across white paper and coloring the branches with pink markers.


Tatiana proudly shows off her flower created by the clown in the Kid Zone.  Many children enjoyed balloon hats, animals and flowers created to their requests as other little ones created artwork as they colored flowers on fans or played several games.

Cherry Blossoms are a sign of friendship and spring.  It was a very special event for many residents and their guests in Monterey Park.

Leave a Response