2024 Cherry Blossom Festival: Mayor Parker among thousands to celebrate annual event in Philly

Lookout Washington D.C., Philadelphia is home to some beautiful cherry blossoms too! 

For more than 20 years, thousands of people have flocked to Fairmount Park for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

Back in 1926, Japan gave the city of Philadelphia 1600 cherry blossom trees to plant here in Fairmount park and throughout the city and this weekend’s Sukura festival celebrates not only the beautiful blossoms but also Japanese culture.

"I think it's wonderful," said  Lecah Lawrence-Gordon, 6th grader. "Especially the weather and I feel like it’s a good day to learn about the culture and things about it."

The Philadelphia Cherry Blossom Festival, also known as Sakura weekend in Japanese, is a chance for Philadelphians to celebrate all things from Japan.


"The flowers are beautiful and we love we appreciate the culture a lot too, just like it’s very beautiful to me," said Rachel Pytlewski, Long Beach Island. "I mean just the floral designs are really beautiful I mean I really like this umbrella too it just like the pattern, too it and like it just feels like it has such a deep history and rich meaning." 

The Ambassador of Japan says the trees are not just beautiful, but they’re a continuing example of  international friendship and goodwill.  

"These actions and the trees that we get to enjoy as a result are living symbols to the enduring friendship that Japan and the United States share with one another," said Mikio Mori, Ambassador and Consul General of Japan.

Katie Burd lived in Japan for three years and brought her family from Allentown to enjoy the festival and loves that people are embracing Japanese customs.

"As long as people are learning about other places in the world, my heart is happy. I think it’s really important to understand other places," said Burd. 

"I want to commend the Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia for their ongoing endeavors to raise awareness of the cultural heritage of the people of Japan in Philadelphia. Let’s give this festival a huge round of applause," said Mayor Cherelle Parker. 

The Japan America society will be planting another 250 cherry blossom trees by 2026 here in Philadelphia to commemorate our Independence and they hope everyone will take the time to appreciate all the cherry blossoms and the special relationship between our two countries.