Campus, News

Sakura Festival to be Held In-Person

Graphic by Midori Davis

Clark’s annual Sakura Festival is being held in-person this year for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The festival will take place on April 21, with opening remarks starting at 1 p.m. and the celebration starting at 2:30 p.m., both in the Gaiser Student Center.

Starting in 2006, the Sakura Festival commemorates the friendship between sister cities Vancouver and Joyo, Japan, with the latter providing 100 Shirofugen cherry trees as a gift in 1990. Later, in 1995, the two became sister cities.

Festivities will feature various activities and performances, including a dance performed by the Japanese Club, an ikebana flower arrangement demo by local instructor Miwa Satoh, as well as a showcase of cherry blossom-themed art made by children at Clark’s childcare center.

“We use maps to show the children where Japan is and we talk about the friendship we have with Joyo and how they provided the trees,” said Early Childhood specialist Teresa Haye, who works at Clark’s Child and Family Studies. “We talk about the significance of the Sakura tree to the people of Japan and how the fleeting beauty is a reminder to us all to be present and in the moment.”

Children from the center would normally attend the festival, but since they are under 5 years old and part of the unvaccinated population, they cannot attend this year. Last year’s virtual festival showcased the children and their artwork in a video.

“I personally enjoy seeing the children of Child and Family Studies participating and contributing to the greater college community in this way,” said Haye. “I love hearing a child tell their parent something they learned about another culture on their way out the door.”

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