Descanso Gardens Cherry Blossom Festival Expands to Two Weekends

March 4-5, and 11-12, 2017 with Timed Tickets

Published : Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 1:45 PM

Visitors enjoy the dazzling display of color and enjoy the Japanese custom of gathering under the cherry trees known as hanami, or “watching blossoms.” © Martha Benedict

The flowering of cherry trees signals the symbolic start of spring, a time of renewal and the fleeting nature of life. The blossoms’ ethereal beauty peaks after two or three weeks and they begin to fall. © Martha Benedict

Descanso Gardens is pleased once again to welcome springtime with its annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Due to overwhelming popularity, the festival will expand to two weekends this year—Saturday and Sunday, March 4-5 and 11-12, 2017. Reservations must be made in advance for timed tickets that will go on sale to the public February 17 at descansogardens.org.

“Over the last several years, the flowering cherry trees have been stars of the spring show at Descanso Gardens,” said David R. Brown, Descanso Gardens executive director. “Last year, the Cherry Blossom Festival weekend was the single busiest of the entire year, and we are pleased to be able to extend the festival to two weekends. While cherry blossom viewing and spring partying beneath the flowering trees originated in Japan, people of all cultures and traditions enjoy the stunningly beautiful display of white and pink flowering trees popping against the dark green of the camellia and oak forest.”

The flowering of cherry trees signals the symbolic start of spring, a time of renewal and the fleeting nature of life. The blossoms’ ethereal beauty peaks after two or three weeks and they begin to fall. © Martha Benedict

As always, this year’s celebration will feature entertainment, Japanese cuisine, origami and more. Activities include the following and are free with admission unless noted:

• Cherry Tree Sale. March 4 & 5 only, 10 am to 4pm. Shop early: These flowering trees sell out fast!
• Discovery Stations. All days, 10am to 4pm. Learn about cherry trees and related plants at these exploration tables.
• Cherry Blossom Walk. All days, 11am & 2pm. Take a guided walk with our experts and learn about cherry blossoms and other flowering trees.
• Origami. All days, 11am to 3pm. Try the traditional art of paper folding with help from experts.
• Camellia Lounge. All days, 10am to 4pm. Purchase Japanese-influenced cuisine, including tempura and sushi selections. Beverages and snacks in Japanese Garden tea house, full menu on main lawn.

Cherry blossoms beautifully frame the teahouse in Descanso’s famed Japanese Garden © Martha Benedict

• Performance by Minyo Station. Saturday, March 4, 11am, 1 pm & 3 pm. Minyo Station presents a jazzy style of Japanese folk music that blends Minyo, traditional Japanese music, with various genres of Western music.
• Performance by June Kuramoto. Sunday, March 5, 11am, 1 pm & 3 pm. June Kuramoto performs on the koto, the national instrument of Japan. A classically-trained musician, she is a founding member of the Japanese-American fusion ensemble “Hiroshima.”
• Performance by On Ensemble. Saturday, March 11 & Sunday, March 12, 11am, 1 pm & 3 pm. On Ensemble (pronounced “Ohn”) is at the forefront of a growing artistic movement in the taiko (Japanese ensemble drumming) world. On Ensemble has made a name for itself by infusing the powerful rhythms of taiko with overtone singing, odd meter grooves and soaring melodies.

About Descanso Gardens

Founded as a public garden in 1953, Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011. Descanso Gardens is open daily (closed Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults; $6 for seniors and students with a school I.D.; $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and younger.

Descanso Gardens is a member ­supported garden accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Join Descanso Gardens and enjoy free admission and early entry year­ round. Information: (818) 949­-4200 or descansogardens.org.

 

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