Saturday, July 12, 2008
Cherry Blossom Festival
Every year Denver has a street festival to commemorate the impact Japanese immigrants have had on the area, and to celebrate Japanese culture. The fair is held in late June, which is months after the last cherry tree has shed its blossoms. I went, ready to be disappointed, and while the scene couldn't hold a candle to an actual Japanese festival, it wasn't as bad as I feared, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped.
The worst part was the food. I'm used to American street food being horrible, but when we transform the teriyaki beef bowl into a greasy bunch of slop, it really is pretty tragic. Festival food in Japan was a highlight, yakitori skewers, teriyaki beef skewers, okonomiyaki, taiyaki, grilled corn, all of it amazingly delicious. Added to that were the festival games, girls in kimono or yukata, and the occasional bout of joyous taiko or street dancing. While I don't expect Denver to be able to match Kanazawa in it's display of Japanese culture, I think a little more fidelity would go a long way towards making the whole thing a lot more fun!
I did find a nice wall clock that has all the numbers in Kanji, so the day wasn't a total wash.