BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS. Members of the traditional Japanese
ensemble Taiko Masala perform during a preview of the Sakura
Matsuri festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York,
in this April 22, 2014 file photo. The festival features
performances, demonstrations, and exhibitions from Japanese
culture. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
From The Asian Reporter, V28, #6 (March 19, 2018),
Cherry blossoms, tulips, and lilacs: Flower
By Beth J. Harpaz
AP Travel Editor
We’re coming up on cherry blossom festivals, tulip time, and
lilac season. Here’s a look at some of the places that celebrate
spring flowers with festivals and other events.
You could go to the Netherlands to see the Keukenhof gardens
in Lisse, which are planted with 7 million flowering bulbs —
tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and more — blooming March 22 to
Or you could visit Holland, Michigan, which hosts a Tulip
Time Festival from May 5 to 13. The city planted 100,000 tulips
back in 1929, and the annual celebration of the tulip now
includes entertainment, costumes, parades, and activities.
Pella, Iowa, has also been hosting a Tulip Time celebration
for decades. Pella’s event is held May 3 to 5 and includes
parades, Dutch costumes and performances, a craft and vendor
fair, and quilt and flower shows, in addition to the tulip
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, based in Mount Vernon in
the state of Washington, is scheduled for April 1 to 30, though
the festival’s website notes that the tulips are expected to
bloom during the last week of March.
In Washington, D.C., the projected peak date for cherry
blossoms along the Tidal Basin began March 17 and ends about
March 20, with the National Cherry Blossom Festival running
March 20 to April 15. The festival marks the 1912 gift of 3,000
cherry trees from a Tokyo mayor to the U.S. capital city.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City also celebrates
the blooming of cherry trees that were a gift from the Japanese
government. A two-day festival called Sakura Matsuri is
planned this year April 28 and 29 with some 60 events, including
performances by taiko drummers. The garden features a Japanese
pond and garden as well as an esplanade lined with some of its
200 cherry trees.
Macon, Georgia, claims to be home to 350,000 cherry trees, a
phenomenon that began with one tree in the backyard of a local
businessman in 1949. A celebration of the trees began March 16
and ends March 25, in what local residents bill as the "pinkest
party" on earth.
In Japan, the cherry trees are expected to begin blooming
around March 24 in Tokyo and March 27 in Kyoto, according to a
forecast on the Japan National Tourism Organization website.
Flower fests elsewhere
In Rochester, New York, the annual Lilac Festival is May 11
to 20. Organizers say the event draws more than 500,000 people
to see not just the largest lilac collection in the U.S., but
also music and comedy shows, art exhibits, a race, and more.
Another lilac festival is held on Mackinac Island in Michigan,
June 8 to 17.
Bluebonnet season brings out locals and visitors alike in
Texas Hill Country. Typically they bloom the last week of March
through April, though as with all flowers, it can be hard to
Walt Disney World’s Epcot International Flower & Garden
Festival also runs through May 28 with display gardens,
entertainment, and more at the theme park just outside Orlando,