Vancouver's cherry blossom festival is getting ready to bloom.
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from April 1 to April 23 this year. The celebration holds a series of outdoor events under the cherry blossoms, including nature walks, group bike rides, live music, a group picnic, and local food.
This year's festival theme is "Cultivating the Blossoms of Our Cultures," which is described as a "celebration of nature, creativity, and the cultures that make Vancouver so special," reads a festival news release.
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Events
The spring festival kicks off with The Big Picnic at David Lam Park on April 1 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Locals are invited to gather under the blossoms of 100 Akebono cherry trees, donated by the Honorable Dr. David Lam in 2010, for a number of free events, including a mindful yoga class, a Kagami-biraki sake keg-breaking ceremony, a haiku installation by Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh nation artists, and the popular Cherry Jam Concert.
There will also be food trucks available and, for the first time, bento box catering by private chefs which must be reserved in advance.
The Sakura Days Japan Fair will return to the VanDusen Botanical Garden on April 15 and 16 for a celebration of all things Japan.
Expect Japanese food, taiko drumming, Ikebana displays, theatre performances, sake sampling, woodworking demonstrations, tea ceremonies, hands-on origami and calligraphy workshops, and cultural performances. Most activities will take place outdoors.
This year's fair will also see double the amount of food trucks and vendors.
Cyclists of all ages can attend a leisurely ride under pink Kanzan cherry blossom trees on the city's east side. The Bike the Blossoms ride will start at 11 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. at Trout Lake Park. Coffee and tea will be available for participants at the start/finish line.
Budding poets can submit a haiku to the festival's international poetry contest. There are six categories: Best Vancouver, Best BC, Best Canada, Best United States, Best International, and Best Youth haiku. The Sakura Award and Honourable Mentions categories recognize additional haiku.