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


By Mona Raskin


Ohayo gozaimasu (Japanese good morning) to Monterey Park’s 15th anniversary celebration of the Cherry Blossom Festival! This festival coincides with our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. In conjunction with the actual incident when we received the generous gift of 100 Cherry Blossom trees from the Council General of Japan Jun Niiimi. The city of Monterey Park was one of the happy recipients for some of these trees. The trees are in full bloom at the nearby Garvey Ranch Park!

The festival, itself is held at Barnes Park, 359 So. McPherrin Ave., in Monterey Park. The first feature began at 11:00 a. m. with a special Matsuri Dance group equipped with drums. They were followed by Mark Keppel High School Aztec Singers. At noon, opening ceremony, with city council member speakers welcoming the visitors!


The festival not only had a variety of entertainment but a host of interesting activities as well!  Ikebana (flower arrangement), Origami is another popular activity demonstrated by Instructors by Michael Sanders and Yami. Both subjects are located in the gym. The art of making Kimikomi dolls, which is made by wood and sawdust and paste, is another Japanese wonder that one can check at the gym (exhibit Hall)!


Besides all the above, a stroll through the festival, you will find several booths filled with a variety of items, clothing, jewelry, and a nearby food court where one can taste a variety of Japanese specialties such as sushi, teriyaki and rice bowl and more including iced tea, strawberry lemonade and sodas.

Although, it was a rather warm day it was an interesting and pleasant way to spend an afternoon with a chance to learn about another culture!

Now, we must say “sayonara” Japanese “goodbye” until we meet again next year!

P.S.     Congratulations to our former mayor of Monterey Park, Francisco Alonzo for being chosen as a delegate to the Democratic convention in North Carolina

P.P. S    A warning for our community, not to be swayed to allow our firemen to go to county!  We need them here!

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