Fort Wayne is fortunate to have a diverse community which in turn provides everyone the chance to experience and learn about cultures different from our own. From Greek Fest to the many booths at the Three Rivers Festival's International Village, it quickly becomes evident that the melting pot that is Fort Wayne provides us the opportunity to learn a lot about the world.
One perfect example is the Cherry Blossom Festival which has taken place in Fort Wayne for 11 years. Whether it's the beauty of a kimono or a chance to learn origami, the Cherry Blossom Festival provides a few hours each year to experience Japanese culture, art and life. Hosted at the downtown branch of the Allen County Public Library, Sunday, May 20, Japan comes to life from noon until 5 p.m., providing a variety of experiences uniquely Japanese.
In recent years, Fort Wayne has been exposed to the beauty and passion of Taiko drumming, thanks to the efforts of the Fort Wayne Dance Collective. The Cherry Blossom Festival provides a chance for those who love Taiko to hear more or for those who have yet to experience the power and excitement of the drumming to hear it for the first time. There will also be Japanese folk dancing and a performance by Chicago's Doux Koto with Japanese dancer, Kazume Mitzuki. Classical guitarist Daniel Quinn and singer Elaina Robbins will perform new song arrangements by Japan's most well-known composer, Toru Takemitstu.
This year's new twist comes thanks to Heartland Singers who will provide an a cappella rendition of the music of anime and video games, while anime enthusiasts can also try their own hand at drawing anime and/or dressing up as their favorite character for the cosplay contest. A haiku contest allows for those who prefer writing to drawing to indulge in some Japanese arts as well.