Music and warm weather help celebrate Salem’s Cherry Blossom Day

Cherry Blossom Day was held on March 16, 2024 at the Oregon State Capitol

As dozens of cherry blossoms bloomed under a clear, warm Saturday sky, hundreds gathered at the Oregon State Capitol for the Cherry Blossom Day Festival, an annual springtime celebration of Japanese culture here in the Pacific Northwest.

Held on the third Saturday of the month, March 16, the Cherry Blossom Day, or “Bloomwatch,” is an official day approved via SB 146 in 2017 by the Oregon Legislature. 

The Cherry Blossom Festival began on March 20 and will be held until April 14. 

The mall will continue to be open as the peak bloom time for the cherry blossoms is from March 18-26. 

On March 16, a large tent on the northern side of the Capitol mall housed dozens of booths featuring arts and crafts, instruments as well as cherry blossom planters. 

The Willamette Koto Club came and performed a series of traditional performances done by club members of varying ages. 

The event began with the Monmouth Taiko, a Japanese drumming group, a proclamation from officials of the City of Salem, a martial arts demonstration by Toru Tanabe and musical performances from Sama Zama: Masumi Timson, Koto and Joseph Harchanko on Cello, Miwa Holman, Yuko Hong, Nanami Riedel, and a Seika Kyoda musical performance.

The event also hosted a kimono fashion show and Bon Dance.

Members of the Japanese traditional music band Koto
A planter booth featured under the main event tent on the Mall grounds
Attendees of the Cherry Blossom Day event
A band member of Koto (right) with Joseph Harchanko on cello (left)
The entire Koto band complete with traditional outfits and instruments
A Koto or Japanese zither instrument
The Oregon State Capitol Mall during Bloomwatch

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-105

SUBSCRIBE TO GET KEIZER NEWS — We report on your community with care, depth, fairness, and accuracy. Get local news that matters to you. Subscribe today to get our daily newsletters and more