Sakura Festival

37th Annual Sakura Festival

Saturday, March 25th
9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Tuscaloosa River Market
1900 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

The theme of the 2023’s Sakura Festival is “Mirai wo hiraku/未来をひらく” or “Renew.”
The spring celebration of Sakura, or cherry blossoms, reminds us of the value of each moment, while the return of spring awakens us to fresh possibilities in life. The theme this year calls upon the very definition of spring!

Activities subject to change.

  • Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta
  • Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International
  • UA Book Arts Traditional Japanese Papermaking
  • Cosplay Contest
  • Origami Tree and Japanese Calligraphy
  • Traditional Japanese Festival Activities (yo-yo tsuri, super ball sukui)
  • Dress-up Photo Op


This year, the Sakura Festival will host a cosplay contest! Show up dressed as your favorite character or idol and enter to win a prize from Japan. Entrants must register at the Kami-Con/Bama SOS Brigade table upon arrival and no later than 11am. The only rule is to please keep it “PG” as this is a family event!

We’ll be starting a new tradition of making origami ornaments to put on a cherry tree branch that we will display each year at the festival!

The 37th festival brings back Alabama Book Arts’ Japanese papermaking demonstration and fan favorites, fishing for water balloon yo-yo’s and bouncy balls.

Schedule is subject to change.

9:00 am Welcome messages
9:30 am UA Community Music School’s Adult String Orchestra and the influence of Shinichi Suzuki
10:00 am Hally UA pop dance group
10:15 am Tea Ceremony performed by UA Japanese Language and Culture Society with Matt Reynold’s Ninja Ballet Background Design
11:00 am Japanese Traditional Dances by UA English Language Institute students
11:15 am Cosplay Contest Results (Contestants must be present no later than 11am.)
11:30 am Traditional Japanese drum music by  Nozomi Daiko: Laurie Arizumi from the Critical Languages Center and UA Students