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First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival - Saturday 4/30: 1 - 3pm

posted Apr 15, 2011, 2:24 PM by Ava Dawson   [ updated Apr 29, 2011, 3:08 PM by Vinicius Fortuna ]

RIRA’s First Annual Cherry Blossom Festival will take place Saturday, April 30, from 1-3pm. If you find the Cherry Blossoms as beautiful  as we do you may want to register at our reception table for RIVAA’s and RIRA’s Photography Contest you must register that day for 5 dollars and keep your registration form for the rules for entering your work.  After the planned program will be, an auction, previews start at 3:30pm, taking place at RIVAA Gallery on Main Street.  Festival attendance is free to all and will have something for both adults and children to enjoy. 

We are dedicating our first Festival to Japanese relief, and are working with our Japanese residents in a fundraising project, in conjunction with the Japan Society and their designated charities to collect money to be sent to Japan to help during this very difficult time.  Only cash, no checks or credit cards, can be accepted at this time.  One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to designated charities in support of the Japanese people who have suffered so much from the March 11 earthquake/tsunami/nuclear energy plant disruption. 


RIRA’s Social, Cultural & Educational Chairperson, Lynne Shinozaki, has been working with the Japanese Association of Roosevelt Island and her committee to arra

nge to have a very special musical performances. Other events unfolding will be teaching visitors the art of origami, and in particular, the folding of a 1000 cranes, a tradition in the Japanese culture for special events.  The cranes will be displayed in P.S. 217 for all the island children to enjoy. A Tea Ceremony which will go on continually throughout the event. A grove of Cherry Blossom Trees, just across and north of the subway station, will be dedicated by RIRA and RIOC, with a plaque offering our support to the Japanese people.  RIOC has generously supported this event.   


There will be children from the RI Youth Program demonstrating their special Karate moves.  How can a festival be a festival without food?  Well there will be assorted sushi rolls provided by Fuji East, sake (maybe a tasting to compare), and a beer tasting (not just Japanese) being offered by River Walk Bar & Grill.  All proceeds from the food and drink sales will go to the fundraising effort.  Our Island Starbucks will be providing, from their staff, volunteers to help handle the donations.  The company will also provide a gift basket to be raffled off proceeds to approved charities winner to be notified by phone following the event.


The photography contest, we hope will include some artful shots of our glorious Cherry Blossom Trees. Island youth and our seniors may register for the contest, in advance, for free. All those registering on April 30 will pay $5  to participate. Again, all proceeds will go to the fundraising effort. RIVAA Gallery’s President, Tad Sudol, has agreed to join several of the Gallery’s members and act as judges for this contest.  Prizes to be announced.  

RIRA thanks, in advance, all the donors to this event: Fujifilm, ITO EN, Roosevelt Landings, RY Management, The Related Management Companies and the Riverwalk Landing Board of Managers, Nonno's Focacceria, The Child School/ Legacy High School, The Roosevelt Island Youth Center, Togei Kyoshitsu of NY, Carol Labozzetta, Tenri Gagaku Music Society of New York, Kumiko Martin, Masayo Ishigure "Miyabi” and Flo Kerr. We also thank the many volunteers who have given so generously of their time and heeded those calls to extra duty to ensure our success!

We look forward to seeing our neighbors and their friends at what promises to be a fun, educational, and tasty event.  Please tweet, email and call, the old fashioned way, to invite your friends to come out and join us, and support our Japanese community and our neighbors on Roosevelt Island.  

To get to Roosevelt Island, see the Directions page.

See you April 30!

Ava Dawson,
Apr 15, 2011, 2:26 PM