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This weekend, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hosting a spectacular series of events in celebration of Sakura Matsuri, their 20th annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival celebrates Japanese culture and the flowering of the Garden’s more than 200 cherry trees in the cherry esplanade.

Inspired by the beautiful and short-lived cherry blossom, which signifies spring’s arrival, this year’s festival - April 28-29 from 10 am to 6 pm - will include some of the original performers from the first festival, including the Soh Daiko Taiko drummers and Fumiko Allinder’s ikebana (flower arrangement) demonstrations.

The Garden has more than 45 varieties of cherry trees ensuring that their blossoms bloom from March until May. On Friday, the Higan and weeping Higan cherries (above) surrounding the Japanese Hill and Pond garden were coated in pink blossoms.

To track the Garden’s blossom progress visit their Web site at

This weekend’s events include a sumi-e (black ink drawing) exhibition, bonsai tree exhibit and demonstration, as well as guided tours of the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden. Other demonstrations include doll-making, origami, calligraphy and musical and dance performances.

All events are free with garden admission ($3, $1.50 seniors, free children under 16) and will be held rain or shine. The Garden is located at 900 Washington Ave. For a complete schedule call the Sakura Matsuri hotline at (718) 623-7333.

- Lisa J. Curtis

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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