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Pelham Art Center to Host Cherry Blossom Festival

PELHAM, N.Y. – The Pelham Art Center will hold its first Cherry Blossom Festival on Saturday to honor the Japanese culture as a part of their folk arts series and because they were “looking to do something new.”

“This was a good time to bring in something that’s new and kind of bigger,” said Gallery Manager Laura Koo Nicholas. “We thought it’d be nice to sort of tap into that excitement of the season.”

Lynn Honeysett, director of the Pelham Art Center, said they are committed to having celebrations of various nationalities usually around some major cultural holiday, including Hindu’s Diwali, Mexican Day of the Dead and the Chinese New Year, among others.

Local store Greener by Design will provide the Cherry Blossom tree, which is one of the more important pieces of the festival.

The free event, which is open to people of all ages, will feature various workshops throughout the day. There will be a one-hour fan dance workshop starting at 1:30 p.m. and Japanese flower arranging from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“It’s gonna be classical Japanese dance and there will be a small demonstration, but mostly a lot of interactive hands-on learning,” Nicholas said.

The teachers, including some from ArtsWestchester, will demonstrate kimono costuming and lead people in making their own flower arrangements, the center said.

Anytime during the event, people will also be able to write their wishes on a small piece of paper, and hang it from a tree that will be outside the center. Afterwards, the notes will be collected and sent to an international repository in Iceland run by Yoko Ono. The center will also have a Japanese documentary, created by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, which focuses on a tea ceremony with traditional Japanese music playing the whole day.

“They’re professionals and they have a lot of experience doing these kinds of sort of community, open to all ages workshops,” Nicholas said of the teachers. “That sort of confidence makes me especially looking forward to seeing them in action almost as an observer myself.”

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