Sakura Festival

38th Annual Sakura Festival

Saturday, March 23th
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum
1901 Jack Warner Pkwy, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401


The theme of the 2024’s Sakura Festival is “uketsugu/受け継ぐ” or “preserve.”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. This year’s theme reminds us to cherish and carry on the connection that was built between the community of Tuscaloosa and our sister-city, Narashino, in Japan.

Activities subject to change.

  • Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta
  • Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International
  • UA Book Arts Traditional Japanese Papermaking
  • Cosplay Contest
  • Origami and Face Painting
  • Traditional Japanese Festival Activities
  • Dress-up for photos
  • Tea ceremony sample
  • Kite making and name in Japanese

The cosplay contest is back for a second year! 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 1:00 pm. The only rule is to please keep it “PG” as this is a family event!

The 38th festival brings back last year’s hit Alabama Book Arts’ Japanese papermaking demonstration and fan favorites, fishing for water balloon yo-yo’s and bouncy balls.

Grab a bite at the Low Tide Poke food truck if you get hungry!

Schedule is subject to change.

11:00 am Welcome message and haiku winners
11:30 am Traditional Japanese drum music by  Nozomi Daiko: Laurie Arizumi from the Critical Languages Center and UA Students
12:00 pm Radio Taiso: a part of Japanese culture that began as an American insurance company’s health campaign
12:30 pm Stage break
1:00 pm Soran Bushi: Japanese traditional fisherman’s song and dance
1:30 pm Cosplay Contest Results (Contestants must be present no later than 1pm.)
2:00 pm Ending remarks