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Sakura Festival

posted Mar 18, 2012, 10:33 AM by Rosanna Himmel   [ updated Mar 30, 2012, 12:20 PM ]

The VKC will celebrate the Sakura Festival in SL with a party. Bring a picnic and dance to the music of Bluemonk Rau and Tone Uriza while enjoying the beautiful cherry blossoms. Wear a kimono, if you like. Be sure to bring your friends and your favorite dog.

Where: LogSpark Courtyard, Turing Isle
When: Noon to 2 on 24 March, 2012
Why: Welcome Spring and celebrate friendship
Music: Bluemonk Rau & Tone Uriza

Party with family, friends, co-workers, VKC patrons, and, of course, VKC Dogs. Celebrate spring and friendship, stroll the grounds, dance like nobody is watching you, or have a picnic under the beautiful sakura trees at Turing Isle while enjoying music by Bluemonk Rau and Tone Uriza.

What is a Sakura Festival?

Cherry blossoms are a symbol of enduring friendship. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from the city of Tokyo, Japan to the city of Washington, DC. 

People in Japan celebrate the cherry blossoms and have fun viewing cherry blossoms, drinking and eating, listening to music, enjoying cultural events, and reveling in the return of spring. 

People in the United States celebrate with array of activities and cultural events, including art exhibits, kite contests, rakugo, kimono fashion shows, dance, singing, martial arts, merchant-sponsored events, a rugby union tournament, and more.

Update 24 March 2012

It was a fine sunny SL afternoon. Friendships were renewed and new friendships were made among the 45 people or so who showed up for the Sakura Festival to dance and celebrate. Most people came dressed in kimonos, some of the most fabulous kimonos ever. Far more people dressed in theme than any of the event planners dared hope for. 

"Thanks for the fun!" smiled MsMinuette. "It's great - De and I are really enjoying it :D" laughed Denzo Dubrovna. "What a great time we had at the Sakura Festival." added Deschantel on our Facebook group page.

Bluemonk Rau's debut for VKC went over very well. His music and musicianship were fantastic. While warming up for his set, he impishly leaped atop his piano and danced like nobody was watching. Tone Uriza, old friend of the VKC, was rocking as ever, switching seamlessly between his Fender Stratocaster and his dobro as he sang up a storm of blues.

The decorations complimented the theme. Beautiful sakura trees graced the courtyard, underplanted by matching pink tulips. A stream cascaded down a small waterfall then ducked under a bridge before submerging under the stage. Tucked near a bench was Totoro (となりのトトロ Tonari no Totoro), a friendly wood spirit. Off to one side was a Buddha pavilion complete with mediation spots. Sakura petals floated gently to the ground everywhere.

The surprise came when Blu Sparkle called out across the region, "Would Dechantel Negulesco come to the stage, please?" After she called Erica Elcano and Gerrit Arad to the stage, she declared that these folks were the winners of the unannounced Costume Competition. 

  • First Prize — Dechantel Negluesco — $1000
  • Second Prize — Erica Elcano — $500
  • Third Prize — Gerrit Arad — $250

As it turned out, winning the first prize was an extra special treat for Deschantel which really lifted her spirits. Gerrit, as you will see in the inset photograph below, was leaping for joy because he was chosen as a winner. Unfortunately, Erica Elcano had left the party before the contest or the winners were announced and can contact Blu to receive her prize.

Winners of the Sakura Festival Costume Competition

Pictured, left to right: Keiichi Ichtama (VKC Parks Service), Prize Winners Gerritt Arad and Deschantel Negulesco, and Blu Sparkle (VKC Parks Director); Erica Elcano, the other winner, was unavailable for the photograph.

You may also view these photographs on our Picassa page.

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