Smile Politely

Mark your calendar for Matsuri

This marvelous local festival, that we here at Smile Politely named best new festival of the decade, will be returning for a sixth year on Saturday, August 29th from 1 to 9 p.m. at Japan House and the Arboretum. 

From the press release: 

This year, the festival will be held on a new day of the week and earlier than the past few years. The sixth annual Matsuri Festival will be held Saturday, August 29 from 1pm to 9pm. Matsuri will include a variety of free performances, including Ho Etsu Taiko drum ensemble; martial arts demonstrations; “The Candyman,” Japanese street performer who makes candy sculptures (amezaiku) and “wows” audiences with magic; Japanese traditional festival dancing; and a variety of other performances including Japanese tsugaru-jamisen artist, Michiyoshi Sato. The night will conclude with fireworks at 9pm.

At this family-friendly event, there will be something for everyone. Artists and craftspeople will have items for sale, as well as interactive activities, such as ikebana (flower arranging), origami (paper folding), yukata and cosplay dressing, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and tours of the Arboretum by Master Gardeners will be happening until 6pm. A kid’s area featuring the amazing artistry of Joyful Bubbles and a variety of games will be the highlight for the younger guests.

Local restaurants who rarely do off-site events, will bring delicious and affordable Asian-inspired dishes and drinks to the crowd. Matsuri will also include and area for sake and beer called Kampai Island.

A multicultural event, Matsuri features elements from other Asian countries such as India with food, performances and henna artists from the community. Guests are encouraged to wear traditional clothing such as Japanese yukata, Indian sari or Korean hanbok, as well as your favorite cosplay attire for the day. Matsuri t-shirts will be available for purchase from the Japan House Interns for anyone who wants to be festive without the fuss.

Presale tickets will be available in July. 

Top image: Several people holding drums and rhythm instruments are spread out in a grassy field. An audience is seating facing the performers. Photo provided by Japan House.

Staff writer

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