Celebrating Cultures

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WEST COVINA, CA –The Cherry Blossom Festival is a small festival held in South Hills Plaza in West Covina on March 19. The East San Gabriel Valley Japanese American Community Center (ESGVJCC) sponsored this event to celebrate Asian American culture in Southern California.

The Cherry Blossom festival was in honor of cherry blossoms having a close tie to Japan and them blossoming in April. The festival had many performers and food stands. It was almost like a mini 626 Night Market, just in broad daylight.

Despite the fact that the sun was blazing down and it was extremely hot, many West Covina residents gathered around the different tents and food stands. Other than the food stands, there were informational tents by different groups. There was the ESGVJCC stand that shared information about the services they offer. Likewise, there was also a stand that promoted a children’s magazine and  free arts and crafts were provided for kids to enjoy.

There were also dog appreciation tents that helped educate people on certain dogs. There was a Akita Inu Hozonkai tent, a Japanese bred dog, that had two big Akita dogs there hanging out as people pet them. The owners explained how these particular dogs should be treated and maintained.

Many local stores promoted their shops by giving samples or free stuff. Nothing Bundt Cakes, a cake shop located by the West Covina Plaza, was in attendance and was giving out bite size pieces of lemon pound cake and white white chocolate cake. The Tokyo Central, a store located in the plaza, was opening boxes and handing out free ice cream mochi and told people to check out their supermarket.

There were many Japanese traditional dances throughout the day along with some Dojo demonstrations. More than a dozen rows of chairs were placed under tents and every seat was filled with people watching.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual event hosted by the ESGVJCC, so make sure out check it next year.

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