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Cherry Blossom Festival brings out thousands in Fort Wayne

The Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off May 20th this year.

Posted: May 20, 2018 9:01 PM
Updated: May 21, 2018 9:30 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind (WFFT)- Fort Wayne brought in a sample of Japan for everyone to enjoy with the 12th annual Cherry Blossom Festival Sunday.

It's a one day only event where people in the community can taste food, listen to live music, and take in the arts of Japanese culture.

The Cherry Blossom Festival has grown each year bringing in over 10,000 people.

"We're delighted that many people are interested and care. They want to learn,"  festival co-chairman Michele Yamanaka said.

It gives people in Fort Wayne a chance to experience the culture for free with something for all ages.

Returning visitors like Shelby Hepler find something new they enjoy every time they go.

"The first year they just had the drummers. This year they have singers. It's just grown so much that they have so much more opportunity to have more performers and it's really cool to see," Hepler said.

When Deziree Powell heard about the festival, she had to check it out. 

She loves the fashion. She wore a kimono to prom.

"It's my dream to go to Japan one day and I feel like this would be a great start," she said.

She came all the way from Ohio to be here at the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Yamanaka said that's what it's all about, and why they have the festival every year to bring people from all over to experience the world around us.

"Every culture has some beautiful things in it we can learn from that we can apply to ourselves so that's helpful. Education wise, it helps people to not be afraid of people that are different from themselves," she added.

She said this would not be successful as it is without the help of volunteers.

They are already working on next year, so be on the lookout for their sign up on the Cherry Blossoms Festival's website at

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Dreary Sunday ahead
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