VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The cherry blossom trees at Red Wing Park are in full bloom and ready for the annual Virginia Beach Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday.
The event celebrates and emphasizes the city of Virginia Beach’s international sisterhood with Miyazaki City, Japan, which began in 1992, according to the city’s website.
Red Wing Park features a traditional Japanese garden called the Miyazaki Garden in honor of the sister city. Years ago, the Japan Educational Cultural Center donated 150 Yoshino cherry blossom trees as part of the garden’s expansion.
According to the Smithsonian Museum, these are the same type of trees that attract thousands of visitors to Washington, D.C. during this time of year.
The trees line the park, creating an ethereal pathway for visitors to step into during the cherry blossom’s peak bloom — which typically begins at the end of March and lasts for a couple of weeks, dependent upon the weather.
“The blossoms are only here for a very short period of time, so it’s something really neat if you can catch them when they’re in this beauty because it’s fleeting,” said Virginia Beach Cherry Blossom Festival Coordinator Katie Webb. “It’s not something that sticks around, you can’t wait a couple weeks and come back because they won’t be here then.”
Webb says the trees symbolize peace, prosperity and goodwill. Those virtues are reflected in the event itself.
From Japanese music and barley tea tastings, to martial arts performances, the Cherry Blossom Festival dives into the rich Japanese culture.
Guests are welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chair to watch the performances. It all begins at noon on April 7. There will be food trucks and other activities on site as well.