Southern California’s rich diversity draws families to the region, and many cultures find that they can call it home, while still retaining their cultural identity. Despite living in Southern California my whole life, I still find myself constantly learning about all of the ways we celebrate culture through festivals and gatherings. The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival returns to the Southland this year, and through food, entertainment, and activities, celebrates Japanese and Japanese culture.
The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival
Each year, the festival is held in Huntington Beach and includes traditional and contemporary performers and some of the best Japanese food and drink vendors in the region.
The festival was created in 2013 by a student ambassador from Huntington Beach who went to Japan. Out of her experience, she initiated the festival as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Today, the festival is one of the larger Japanese cultural events in Southern California and furthers the international student exchange program between Huntington Beach and sister city Anjo, Japan.
The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival will feature Taiko drumming, minyo, classical dance, gagaku music, origami, ikebana are presented alongside cosplay contests, anime characters, electronic music, jazz, video game tournaments and beyond. And you do not want to miss the Sakura Night Market which features some of the best Japanese food and drink vendors in the region.
- Anjo Cultural Association Dance Group: An authentic Noh Mai dance group.
- Jingu Sha Troupe: A group who uses Koto and Sangen instruments
- Akai Kouyou: A group who will perform traditional shamisen and song
- Sakurai Tako Hozonkai/Sakurai Kite Preservation Group
Sakura Night Market
Last year’s festival was so popular it has been expanded and will span three days. In addition to the daytime cultural programming, families can enjoy the Sakura Night Market on Friday and Saturday evenings. The Night Market will feature live performances, video game tournaments, cosplay contests, and light installations.
- Green Eggs Co
- Takoyaki Tanota
- Babymini Donuts
- Rockin Gyoza
- Kobe Wagyu Freaks
- Tenkatori USA
- Cafe 949
- SVR BBQ
- AJAJ Café
- Amamiya- Baby Castella
- King Street Food
- Squirrel Beach Company
- Hungry Belly
- Okamoto Kitchen
- Angry Pig
- Salt N Pepper
- Scooters Italian Ice
- Deli Doctor
- Shake Ramen
- Kushi Sushi
- Rice Balls
- Baby’s Burgers
- Belly Bombz
- Kona Ice
- Inglorious Funnels
- Taste of Soul on Wheels
- Cruising Cones
The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival Tickets and Event Information
The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival runs Friday March 13 from 5 pm to 9 pm, Saturday March 14 from 10 am to 9 pm, and Sunday March 15 from 10 am to 4 pm.
The festival will take place at Central Park, 7111 Talbert St. in Huntington Beach, California. For more information, visit OCCBFest.com.
The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival Giveaway
One of you will win four weekend passes to the The Orange County Cherry Blossom Festival. To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment with one thing you are excited about seeing at the festival. Giveaway will close on March 2, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST.a Rafflecopter giveaway
US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.