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Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring

The emergence of spring will be celebrated at the Japanese Garden of Buffalo from May 2 through 9, with the Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival.

The festival will highlight the flowers of springtime and the city’s special connection to Japan. In Japan, friends and families enjoy flower viewing celebrations, called hanami. Here, friends of the Japanese Garden, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Buffalo History Museum are inviting Western New Yorkers to join in a similar celebration.

The festival kicks off Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with a cherry tree and garden talk followed by a Japanese tea ceremony on the portico of the History Museum.

A Japanese Film Festival will be held both weekends at the North Park Theater, with screenings of anime films at 11:30 a.m. The second weekend of the festival includes an orienteering challenge along a 2.5K course through Delaware Park and live music at the garden.

The festival also includes a puppet show, a fashion show, boat rides on Mirror Lake, a traditional doll display and a hula hoop contest. For a full schedule, go to buffalocherryblossomfestival.org.

Outdoor events are free; admission fees may apply at inside venues.