The 37th Annual BloomFest was met with hundreds, maybe thousands, of people from Newark, Essex County, and around the globe. With food, children’s activities, cultural demonstrations, representation from Newark organizations and businesses, and beautiful scenery galore, it was surely a success. For the first time recently, the cherry blossoms were actually blooming during the festival, which was wonderful.
Families picnicked and children played in the park while we enjoyed the Spring weather at Branch Brook Park. There were many free activities for children, including sand art, paper flower making, a drum circle, and a juggling-balancing-jester who performed frequently throughout the park. There was also a tie-dye booth, free temporary tattoos, and more.
Many arts organizations and businesses showcased their works, such as Glassroots, who showed off their beautifully-blown glass objects, The Barat Foundation, who displayed their large Animodule sculptures, and the beautiful Ikenobo Ikebana Society of New Jersey Chapter displaying their amazing Japanese flower arranging talents. Even the Turtle Back Zoo was there, showing off cool animal bones and pelts.
The two stages had interesting and fun performances. The main stage had dance performances, the welcome ceremony for the whole festival, and music. It also had the amazing Samurai Sword Soul, where samurai got up onstage and fought, then demonstrated to participants how to handle the swords. The cultural demonstration tent stuck to more low-key activities such as haiku readings and a Japanese jazz group.
Many people stayed long past the events ended to enjoy the weather and the blossoms with their families. The cherry blossoms have just started blooming and it’s the perfect season to check them out. View more pictures of the festivities below and tell us what you thought of the celebration.
The concluding event will be on Saturday, April 20th, with Family Fun Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.