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Texas State holds Sakura Festival dedication

Date released: 02/17/04

SAN MARCOS — Flowering peach and Mexican plum trees will be planted on the Texas State University-San Marcos campus Feb. 20 in a Sakura Festival dedication ceremony sponsored by the NCN Institute of Japan.

The planting will take place at 11 a.m., in the green space between the J.C. Kellam Administration Building and the Theatre Center.

This dedication is part of what will become an annual event on the Texas State campus--the Sakura (cherry blossom) Festival. The dedication highlights the warm relationship that exists between the NCN Institute and Texas State, as well as between Japanese students--the largest international student population on campus--and the Texas State and San Marcos communities. Because most cherry species do poorly in Texas’ hot climate, the related species of Helen Borcher peach and Mexican plum will be substituted in the ceremony.

The inaugural Sakura Festival itself will be held April 7 at the LBJ Student Center from 6-8:30 p.m. Open to anyone interested in Japanese culture, the festival will feature Japanese food and a variety of events such as origami demonstrations, taiko drumming, and a kimono fashion show.

Sakura Festivals trace their roots back to ancient Japan, where the cherry blossom was considered to symbolize a life lived to the fullest, no matter how brief. The Sakura Festival is also a reminder of fresh beginnings and the renewal of the spirit that comes with spring. In the United States, the most famous Sakura observance is the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which began with a gift of the 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, D.C., in 1912. Since then, Sakura festivals have spread to such cities as Seattle, Detroit, San Francisco, Brooklyn and now, San Marcos.