The fifth annual Cherry Blossom Festival, held Saturday April 30, attracted between 2500 and 3000 attendees at multiple locations, on the plaza at Manhattan Park, Gallery RIVAA, along the promenade, and at Island Wine & Spirits.
New this year were three dances performed by Island residents. The Roosevelt Island Japanese Association presented Yosakoi Dancers, a children’s face group that performed with naruko, Japanese Castanets. The Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance coordinated with Natasha Danielan who instructed residents. They performed two dances, and audience members were invited to join. For the last dance, members of Soh Daiko, the Taiko drummers spontaneously participated with one of their drums.
More than a dozen groups volunteered. At Gallery RIVAA, participants enjoyed origami, ink painting, calligraphy, and kimono dress-up. There was a sake tasting at Island Wines & Spirits that was very popular.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer as well as representatives from Mayor DiBlasio’s and Council Member Kallos’ office joined RIRA President Jeffrey Escobar in welcoming the attendees.