2015 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival Opens This Week

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The 48th Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival opens this weekend, April 11-12, and continues April 18-19 with traditional and new Japanese cultural demonstrations

The festival is grateful for the donations by its major sponsors - Rich Hashimoto, Co-Chair, Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

The executive committee of the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival is happy to announce the opening for the 48th Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival on April 11 & 12, 2015 and is free to the public. The festival continues on April 18 and 19 with the Grand Parade will be on April 19 starting from SF Civic Center and ending in Japantown.

“The festival is grateful for the donations by its major sponsors – Grants for the Arts, Sapporo, Union Bank, Otsuka America, JiNS, JAL, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California, Chobani, Comcast, Consulate of Japan, Henri & Tomoe Takahashi Foundation and NBC Bay Area. Without these benevolent sponsors, we would not be able to hold the festival to the level and quality we want to provide to our fans and friends each and every year” says Rich Hashimoto, co-chair of the 2015 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.

The festival is also proud to announce a partnership with Parking Panda (http://bit.ly/NCCBFParkingPanda) which allows festival goers to reserve parking at nearby parking garage facilities.

The festival is announcing some new items:

1. Sakura 360 Area
Sakura 360 is a new addition to the festival that will be present on the first weekend, April 11 and 12. The area aims to embody the spirit of the “new Japan”, involving fashion, gaming, and anime that are currently trending in both America and Japan.

2. Hello Kitty Cafe Truck
This is the first time the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is making an appearance at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival and San Francisco and will be in the Hello Kitty Area of the festival.

3. Pocky truck by Glico
The Glico Pocky Truck will be at the festival to give away Pocky snacks on the first weekend, April 11 and 12. The Pocky Truck will be parked at the new Sakura 360 area on Post Street.

4. Sapporo USA Beer Gardens
This year will feature two beer gardens, a new one at Peace Plaza.

5. NBC Bay Area Sports Tent
Festival attendees will have an opportunity to take photos with their favorite giant Giant’s cut-out faces like Travis Ishikawa and Nori Aoki (青木 宣親) to name a few and try the World Series Championship San Francisco Giant’s Baseball Toss.

6. The Japantown Mandala Exhibition and Art Installation by Suite J-Town, a First Voice Production and National Japanese American Historical Society Exhibit
This new exhibition will convey – through the use of visual art, sound, video, and performance – the resilience and beauty of the Japantown community as it evolved over its 110-year history. The opening reception of the Japantown Mandala and Multimedia Arts Installation is on Thursday, April 9th. A film series will be shown on both weekends of the festival. The National Japanese American Historical Society will exhibit “Carrying On – 100 Years of San Francisco’s Japantown.”

7. NCCBF App
Currently under development, the NCCBF app will soon be available on iOS devices.

8. New Dogwood Stamp
The USPS will be announcing a new commemorative stamp at the festival’s Opening Ceremony on April 11. In 2015, the U.S. Postal Service® and Japan Post jointly issue Gifts of Friendship, a stamp featuring beautiful images of flowering dogwood and flowering cherry trees. This issuance celebrates the enduring bond between two nations on the centennial of the gift of dogwood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915.

9. Miniyonku Club
The Miniyonku Club assembles and then modifies these cars for racing on similarly scaled tracks. The club is making its first appearance at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, and will be hosting an open event/tournament on April 11, 12, and 18.

10. Kendama USA
The Consulate General of Japan is partnering with Kendama USA to present the first ever Northern California Kendama Championship – dubbed the “Sakura Classic”! The competition will take place on the first weekend of the festival, April 11 and 12, and culminate with a finals match on the Peace Plaza stage from 3:45pm-4:45pm on Sunday the 12th.

The 2015 NCCBF performers and schedules are finalized. Check http://bit.ly/NCCBF for the latest information.

For media and press pass requests, please visit http://bit.ly/SFCherryBlossomMediaInfo.

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