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Wiamea To Celebrate Cherry the Blossom Festival In February


Wiamea to celebrate Cherry Blossom Festival in February

Come out to Wiamea to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival in February and see for yourself how this splendid Hawaiian tradition blends Japanese and Hawaiian culture through music, food, crafts and performances.

This is not just an ordinary festival, this year the U.S.  is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the planting of the cherry trees in Washington DC.

Wiamea to Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival in February

Cherry blossoms begin to bloom along Church Road in Waimea. The 19th annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival will be held from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4. The festival celebrates the unofficial arrival of spring on the Big Island as well as Japanese culture.

This year’s event will honor three Paniolo Hall of Fame members: Jamie Dowsett and Charles T. Kimura of Waimea and Charles T. Onaka of Honaunau. For more information, call 961-8706.  HOLLYN JOHNSON/Tribune-Herald

The 19th annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival will feature a full lineup of multicultural performing arts, hands-on demonstrations, more than 100 crafters, a quilt show and food booths from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at venues sprawling through town.

Look for pink banners identifying site locations.

Organized by area residents and the county Department of Parks and Recreation, the festival marks the blooming of the historic cherry trees at Church Row Park and celebrates the age-old Japanese tradition of hanami, which translates to “cherry blossom viewing party.”

This year’s community festival also is part of the nationwide 100-year anniversary that marks the 1912 planting of cherry trees along the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. The Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial features the planting of cherry trees across the nation as a continued symbol of friendship between the countries.

Using seeds presented from the Embassy of Japan that are especially suited to Hawaii’s climate, seedlings were cultivated last fall for the festival. One will be planted at 10:30 a.m. in Church Row Park by Mayor Billy Kenoi, Oahu Consul Gen. Yoshihiko Kamo and Tetsuo Koyama, director of the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden.

This year’s festival honors three paniolo: Charles T. Kimura, Charles T. Onaka and Jamie Dowsett. They will be recognized by Kenoi during opening festivities on the stage behind Parker Ranch Center.

The official festival program will be available throughout town. It includes a map and details on the many presenting organizations.

Parking is available at Parker Ranch Center and the soccer field across from Church Row Park. A free shuttle offers transportation to Parker Ranch Historic Homes, Parker Ranch Center and Church Row Park. Here is a quick rundown of festival activities.

Church Row Park

* Historic cherry tree display: Waimea Lions’ Club offers a pictorial history of the cherry trees and serves as the festival’s official lost-and-found station. The Lions will also collect used eyeglasses, offer vision screening and sell pancake breakfast tickets;

* Waimea Bonyu Kai Bonsai Club display and sale of bonsai, demonstrations and a clinic to discuss and work on the art of bonsai;

* Kamuela Hongwanji: Big Isle chefs offer cooking demos with free samples; Japanese cultural demos/entertainment, including taiko drumming, origami by Kikuko Kibe and furoshiki (gift-wrapping cloth); Asian collectibles/food sales; martial arts demos, and

* Imiola Church: saimin, cherry ice cream and local delicacies.

Parker Ranch Center

* Festival entertainment in back parking lot, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Bon Odori Taiko, bon dance, Japanese Preschool presentation, Michael Pang’s Hula Halau Ka Noeau, the Lono Kanakaole Trio, Kenny Endo Taiko, Darlene Ahuna, Kuhao Case, Tai Shoji Taiko;

* Craft fair: More than 100 crafters inside center and in back parking lot; cherry tree seedlings for sale in back parking lot, and

* Mochi tsuki pounding: Help pound mochi using 500 pounds of rice with Kona Hongwanji Mission outside Fireside Food Court starting at 10 a.m.; free samples. Mana Christian Ohana Church (behind Parker Ranch Center)

* Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea Festival of Quilts: Show by six clubs: Sew N Sews of Waikoloa, Anuenue Quilters of North Hawaii, Mauna Kea Quilters, Laulima O Hamakua, Sew Fun After School and the host club, Ka Hui Kapa Apana. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., show honors the late Nancy Donigan, displays Aloha Airlines quilt, sells crafts, and

* Car show: Hamakua side of parking lot.

Waimea Historic Corner

At intersection of Highways 19 and 190, Firehouse Gallery art demos/exhibition: Waimea Arts Council presents a members’ invitational show with a cherry blossom theme. WAC members demonstrate paper, painting and jewelry making, plus sidewalk chalk drawings for all ages, while Waimea Community Theatre presents scenes from the upcoming production, “The Hollow.” Kohala Taco & Burger will sell tacos as a fundraiser for WAC.

Parker School/Highway 19

Waimea Town Market: Farmers market open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with calligraphy instruction, on-site stone oven-baked bread, artisan products, performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko at 10 and 11 a.m., plus Okinawan dance.

For More Information Click Here…

The cherry blossoms are a symbol of peace between nations and I can think of no better gift than the wonderful seedlings given by the Japanese Embassy to be planted in Church Row Park.

I think that people enjoy coming to Wiamea to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival in February because the world needs more peace and beauty and the cherry blossoms symbolize that very well.

~~Aloha Nui Loa


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