The fourth annual Davis Cherry Blossom Festival, April 6-7, will be a regional music festival and celebration of Japanese culture.
Presented by Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan and Sudwerk Brewing Co., the all-ages weekend features music, food, art, culture and beer. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 6 and from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 7 at Sudwerk Brewing Co., 2001 Second St. in Davis.
The event includes two stages with music and lots of traditional Japanese drumming. There will be food and art vendors, a gallery of local artists, interactive educational and cultural demonstrations, games and more. All of this celebrates the annual arrival of pink cherry blossoms, revered for centuries as a symbol of the beauty and fragility of life. Known as the sakura, the flower is the national flower of Japan. The flowers often coincide with Buddha’s birthday, celebrated on April 8.
Over 30 musical artists will perform over the two days of the festival, including Tanukichan, Jessica Malone, The Brothers Reed, The Midnight Dip and Big Sticky Mess. The event is made possible, in part, by a grant from the City of Davis Arts and Cultural Affairs Fund.
City of Davis arts and culture officer Rachel Hartsough said the event promises to be a weekend full of wonderful family activities. “The city is pleased to add the Cherry Blossom Festival to its list of city-supported public events that celebrate culture in our community. We love that the organizers of Cherry Blossom have been incredibly innovative in creating an event that is open to all, champions many facets of the arts in Davis like taiko and origami, and is mindful of leaving a lasting positive impact on the community. community.
Sudwerk will sell a limited-edition sakura (cherry blossom) beer in 16-ounce cans, and Davis Creamery will serve Japanese cherry blossom ice cream. A percentage of proceeds will go to My Sister’s House, a regional shelter specifically for Asian women and those affected by violence and human trafficking.
“Sudwerk is thrilled to see this festival – in its fourth year – evolve into a regional celebration of Japanese culture,” said brewery co-owner Trent Yackzan. He said beer lovers in the region will be able to buy the hoppy, hazy Sakura Haze lager in local supermarkets even after the festival ends. The beer contains Galaxy, Melon and Mosaic hops and contains 6% alcohol by volume.
What started as a student-run event has grown exponentially, with attendance last year estimated at more than 2,000 people over the two days. The festival, or matsuri, celebrates cultural and artistic diversity as well as the beauty of nature.
Other bands include A Few Drinks In, Busy Lighthouse, Carsick, Cloud Hats, Emmet Francis, golfdads, Indigo Elephant, Katgrüvs, Killer Caribou, Lillian Frances, Lost Again, Psychedelic Dub Orchestra, Sturdy Skeptics, The Chandelier Ravens, The Modern Wild, Violet Island, Your Local Cemetery, B. Hold, Video Game Orchestra, DJ Allen Brookside and Lo & The Mix.
Taiko and cultural performances: Kohaku, Sacramento Taiko Dan, Naoko, Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan, Cal Raijin Taiko, Jiten Daiko and Stanford Taiko.
Historically, taiko has played an important role in the Asian American movement, as an expression of intensity and intentionality in a population stereotyped as passive “model minorities”. In the United States, taiko has also played an important role in the expression and performance of female and queer identities.
“Our festival celebrates the diversity of voices shared through music, and through our history we see music as a powerful instrument of social change and a voice for peace and understanding,” said Gregory Wada of Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan. .
Demonstrations and activities include Ikebana (flower arranging) demonstrations by the Sacramento Chapter of Ikebana International; origami demonstrations by Davis Origami Group; shibori tie-dying with Alicia Decker from the UC Davis Design Museum; mochitsuki (rice cake making) sponsored by Florin Buddhist Church; shishimai (Japanese lion dance) by Miyo Uchida of UC Davis’ Japanese department; and live painting by Gregory Shilling. Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan will offer community taiko lessons, chochin (paper lantern) decorating, and matsuri games.
Art gallery artists include JYNcreations, Pielodoodles, Smada Earrings, Shigeko Fukuya, Jeremy Dang, Alex Ryo Simotake, Kimchi Kawaii, Blythe Nishi, Of the Dirt Pottery, Brad “Brakinja” Kincaide, Celeste Wong Ceramics and Bike City Woodworks.
Street Cravings and Pollo Inferno will have their food trucks there on both days. On Saturday, Koizora, Underdog Grill and Davis Creamery will also be there. On Sunday, Dumpling House and Puros Churros will be there. Other vendors include: Kobe Mini Mart, Korndogg Balloon and Face Art, Farm Fresh to You, and SAFE Credit Union.
Other sponsors include the Yolo County Visitors Bureau, UC Davis Global Affairs, Davis Odd Fellows Lodge, and the Sacramento Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. The following organizations provide volunteers: Japanese American Student Society, Nikkei Student Union at UC Davis, and Davis Aggie Lions Club.
Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan, founded in 2001, is UC Davis’ kumidaiko (Japanese drumming ensemble) group, representing the campus on the Intercollegiate Taiko Council.
Bakuhatsu means “explosion”, representing the intensity of their performance energy. Bakuhatsu Taiko Dan performs locally and regionally, with a mission to share the love of taiko and promote experiences with Asian American art and culture.
Founded in 1989, Sudwerk Brewing Co. specializes in craft beers.