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April 18, 2016

Photo Essay: Sakura Sunday in Fairmount Park

Hundreds celebrate Japanese culture and the beginning of spring

Entertainment Cherry Blossom Festival
07_041716_Sakura_Angilella.jpg Dave Angilella/for PhillyVoice

Tamagawa University dancers move their feet to the rhythm of Taiko drums during the annual Sakura Sunday festival at Fairmount Park's Horticulture Center, Sunday, April 17, 2016.

Philadelphians came together Sunday to celebrate Japanese culture at Fairmount Park's Horticulture Center. Sakura Sunday is the main event of the weeklong "Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia," which marks the return of spring and honors the deep-rooted tradition of the Japanese government donating cherry trees to Philadelphia in honor of the Sesquicentennial of American Independence in 1926.

Cherry blossoms and thousands of feet covered the grounds, as people, many dressed in cosplay, came from all over to enjoy the day of cultural coalescence. Festivities included traditional and non-traditional performances, tree planting, food and a competition for the "prettiest pet in pink."

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A large crowd enjoys the performances on the main stage during the Sakura Sunday festival.


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Sarah Rocco dressed her best for the Sakura Sunday festival in Fairmount Park. Rocco, along with some friends, is part of a Japanese fashion club.


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This Shiba Inu was looking to win the Prettiest Pet in Pink contest with her pink kimono.


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Spectators take turns posing with a group of Furries dressed in cosplay.


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Spring has returned and the blossoming cherry trees are celebrated on Sakura Sunday. Here, a flowering dogwood tree is seen in the midday sun.


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Tamagawa University performers put on a show with Taiko drums and dance.


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Fairmount Park's Horticulture Center was packed with people coming from near and far on Sakura Sunday.


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These two couldn't stop smiling as they posed in their cosplay costumes.


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Lee Pierce, center, dressed as a cosplay character he created when he was 10. Pierce has been coming to the festival for seven years. 'We came to enjoy one of the few Japanese cultural festivals Philadelphia has to offer.'



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