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Organized by the Tri-State Buddhist Temple, the 43rd annual Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated Japanese culture in the heart of Denver, Colorado.

The 43rd annual Cherry Blossom Festival officially kicked off the start of summer, the weekend of June 27th and 28th in downtown’s Sakura Square on Lawrence street, between 19th and 20th. Vendor booths lined the street that led up to the event stage and food and beverage area.

Held each year since 1972, the festival celebrates the Japanese American (JA) heritage and culture of Front Range residents through live entertainment, food and drink, arts and crafts, and informative exhibits and demonstrations.

Among the entertainment  was Denver Taiko, as well as performances of Japanese dance, koto and shamisen, and martial arts. Inside the Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple, festival attendees had the opportunity to explore exhibits of ikebana (flower arrangement) and bonsai, and informative lectures on Buddhism. The temple’s gymnasium was also home to a variety of food and drink, including the popular teriyaki chicken dinner plate, sushi, and delicious Japanese sweets called manju and mochi.

The Cherry Blossom Festival raises funds for the Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temples programs and operations.