Saturday, February 2nd, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
For two decades, this free community festival has showcased the 60-year-old cherry trees planted at Waimea’s historic Church Row Park and the Japanese tradition of viewing them — hanami. The event also celebrates this community’s rich Japanese cultural heritage and traditions at venues throughout town. Look for pink banners identifying sites — from the Parker Ranch Historic Homes on Mamalahoa Hwy. 190 to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market on Hwy.
Marking its 20th anniversary year, the festival debuts a commemorative poster showcasing the art of Kailua-Kona resident Aelbert Aehegma. The 11 x 17 inch poster features Aehegma’s impressionistic painting, “Cherry Blossom Snows.” The $10 poster, along with prints and the original 18 x 24 inch painting can be purchased at the Firehouse Gallery.
Everyone is invited to spend the day enjoying a lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, mochi pounding and a host of colorful craft fairs and delicious foods. Festivities begin at 9 in the parking lot behind Parker Ranch Center with special guests, honorees and performances including bon dancing. Highlight of the year will be an anniversary exhibit honoring some of the festival’s first performers and commemorating its founders – most notably the memory of the late Anne Field Gomes, whose heroic volunteerism benefited many Waimea organizations and events including this festival.
Festival parking is available at Parker Ranch Center and the soccer field across Church Row Park. A free shuttle will transport participations with stops at Parker Ranch Historic Homes, Parker Ranch Center’s back parking lot and Church Row Park.
Schedule and Locations
CHURCH ROW PARK
Historical Cherry Tree Display: Waimea Lion’s 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.
Bonsai: The Waimea Bonyu Kai Bonsai Club offers a display and sale of bonsai, ongoing demonstrations and a clinic to discuss and work on the art of bonsai.
Cooking Demos at Kamuela Hongwanji- Big Island chefs offer cooking demonstrations with free samples
Japanese Cultural Demos/Entertainment at Kamuela Hongwanji- Learn the time-honored arts of furoshiki (gift wrapping cloth) and origami. Taiko drumming performance.
Asian Collectibles/Food Sales at Hongwanji. Church organizations sell Asian-themed collectibles, lanterns made from recycled beverage cans, cherry tree seedlings and cherry blossoms in mugs, temple cookbooks. Asian foods: Inari sushi, teriyaki chicken bowl, nishime, manju, andagi and prune mui.
Martial Arts Demonstrations throughout the day.
WAIMEA HISTORIC CORNER- Hwys. 19/190 Intersection
Firehouse Gallery Exhibition: Waimea Arts Council presents a members’ invitational show with a cherry blossom theme. Gallery open February 2nd, from 9am-3pm. The show will run January 30th-February 28th. Normal gallery hours are Wed-Saturday 11am-3pm.
Master Japanese Calligrapher, Chuck Koseda will be demonstrating classic ‘grass writing,’ with black ink and Sumi-e brushes at Waimea Arts Council, all day from 9 am through 3 pm. Visitors can request he paint the character of their choice, their name, Love –his – personal favorite, healing, success or whatever one wishes. Donations may be made and visitors may keep the calligraphic art and frame it for inspiration. Donations for the special calligraphy will benefit the Waimea Arts Council, a non-profit organization furthering arts and culture in North Hawaii.
Cherry Blossom Festival Artist Aelbert Achegma, will set up his easel and be painting under the tent next to the Firehouse Gallery during the 2013 event. He will also be available to personally sign the limited edition 2013 event posters from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Selected by the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival planning committee to represent the 20th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, the original “Cherry Blossom Snows” painting, along with prints and souvenir event posters, will be available for purchase at the Firehouse Gallery, beginning January 31.
Artist demonstrations: Papermaking, painting, graphite drawing and Japanese calligraphy.
Sidewalk Chalk Drawings: All ages are welcome.
Kohala Taco and Burger sells tacos as a fundraiser for the Waimea Arts Council.
Waimea Preservation Association presents a history of the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival
PARKER RANCH CENTER– Hwy 19
Festival Entertainment Stage: In the back parking lot. Opening ceremonies at 9 am kick off continuous entertainment until 3 pm. Bon Odori Taiko, Bon dance, Japanese for Kids and Montessori Schools presentation, Kaliko Kalehua Hula Studio, Kumu Hula Michael Pang’s Hula Halau Ka Noeau, Darlene Ahuna, Tropic Lightning Band, Tai Shoji Taiko.
Craft Fair: Over 100 crafters inside center and in the back parking lot, cherry tree seedlings for sale in the back parking lot.
Mochi Tsuki Pounding: Help pound mochi using 500 pounds of rice with the Kona Honwanji Mission outside the Fireside Food Court, starting at 10 am; samples.
KAHILU COMMUNITY HALL- Behind Parker Ranch Center and Kahilu Theatre
Waimea’s Biannual Hawaiian Quilt Show in Kahilu Hall (Across from the Kahilu Theatre). Sponsored by Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea. Stunning new and antique Hawaiian Quilt display that includes the Cherry Blossom quilt and honors the late Kimo Balai. Craft fair, “Learn How” area with materials provided, pattern tracing.
Kamaaina Motors Car Show is located on the Hamakua side of the parking lot
PARKER SCHOOL, Hwy 19
Waimea Town Market/Performing Arts: Farmers Market open 8am-1pm with performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii-Kohala and Okinawan folk dance, 10am-noon.
PARKER RANCH ARENA, Hwy 190
Rodeo/Food: Monthly event competition for keiki in the morning and junior high division in the afternoon (High school on Sunday). Donations welcome, food booth sales.
PUUOPELU, PARKER RANCH HISTORIC HOMES
Cultural Demos/Performing Arts: Enjoy ritual Japanese tea ceremony led by Emi Wakayama; the Sakura Ensemble joined by harpist Chikako Nakano and tsuzumi drummer Issa Mochizuki, plus a Japanese hula halau.
Arts/Food:Enjoy sumie demonstrations and displays of mosaic/glass art and ikebana.
KAMUELA LIQUOR STORE- Highway 19.
Sake Tasting: Noon-3pm.
PANIOLO HERITAGE CENTER AT HISTORIC PUKALANI STABLES, End of Pukalani St (Turn South off Hwy 19 at Ace Hardware)
Ranching Themed Activities: Paniolo Breakfast 8-10am for $10 donation, heritage center open house, historic photo display by the Natural Resources Conservation Service/Soil/Water Conservation District and of Japanese “Kepani” cowboys, live music, hanafuda card playing, refreshments and sales of Paniolo Preservation Society merchandise.
KUHIO HALE- Hwy 19
Farmer’s Market: More than 20 members of the Hawaiian Homestead Market offer a variety of products. 7 a.m.- noon.
GINGER FARM (Old Anderson Homestead) MM 55 across from Puu Nani St. on Hwy 19-
Japanese Home Tour/Tea tasting/Art fun: Self-guided tour through traditional Japanese style home; Island keiki serve cherry tea and show keiki how to make a cherry blossom hanging scroll.
For more info: 961-8706.