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Stamford Celebrates Japanese Culture As Cherry Blossom Festival Blooms

Seven-year-old Jaimie Corpuz (left) and Ava Tarnacki, 6, both of Stamford, in kimonos at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Stamford on Saturday.
Seven-year-old Jaimie Corpuz (left) and Ava Tarnacki, 6, both of Stamford, in kimonos at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Stamford on Saturday. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
A drum performance at the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival.
A drum performance at the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Kids check out Sumie ink brush painting.
Kids check out Sumie ink brush painting. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Decorating a lantern.
Decorating a lantern. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Kids watch the 'Robot Battle Competition" exhibit.
Kids watch the 'Robot Battle Competition" exhibit. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Drummers perform at Saturday's cherry blossom festival.
Drummers perform at Saturday's cherry blossom festival. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Members of the audience record the performance.
Members of the audience record the performance. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Dressing in Kimonos at Saturday's festival.
Dressing in Kimonos at Saturday's festival. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
A boy works on a piece in the Origami workshop.
A boy works on a piece in the Origami workshop. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

STAMFORD, Conn. -- Stamford celebrated one of its most colorful signs of spring as the Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival -- a celebration of Japanese culture -- went into full bloom at downtown's Mill River Park.

The festival on Saturday included live music and dance performances, don a kimono" tryouts, samurai demonstrations, Taiko drumming and dancing, Japanese food and cherry blossom-inspired arts and crafts.

Visitors were also able to try Origami, play with robots, decorate a Japanese lantern and play water yo-yo.

The trees filling the downtown park were donated to the city of Stamford after World War II by Junzo Nojima, a Japanese-American restaurateur who lived near Mill River Park in Stamford. The trees were saved and replanted during the park's long facelift to preserve the historic gift.

The festival is hosted by the Mill River Park Collaborative and The Japan Society of Fairfield County.

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