Whether you’re coming for the end of the ski season or to celebrate the start of spring, the cherry blossom blooming period between late-March and the end of April is a fantastic time to visit Vancouver.
Every April, nearly 40,000 cherry trees burst into full bloom. Since many of these trees were originally gifts from Japan, Vancouverites mark the occasion with a celebration of spring and all things Japanese.
Different kinds of cherry trees bloom wave by wave at different times—sort of like a storm system blowing in off the water. Thankfully, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival organizers conveniently track when and where each different tree is blooming on the festival website (http://www.vcbf.ca).
The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival was inspired by the age-old Sakura festivals of Japan and has created a new west coast tradition which is very Vancouver and multicultural. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival presents the kick-off event: Cherry Jam Downtown, Sakura Days Japan Fair, Bike the Blossoms, Tree Talks and Walks, Haiku Invitational, Plein-Air Blossom Painting, BC Blossom Watch Photo Contest, with a new annual feature like the Cherry Blossom Umbrella Flash Mob Dance and community partner inspired themed events during the month long celebration.
Our favourite locations this year included the massive canopy at the Burrard St. Skytrain Station, the trees above Lonsdale Quay, and the massive trees at the Vancouver Planetarium.
Key festival events include:
1) Cherry Jam Downtown
Cherry Jam Downtown marks the beginning of the blooming period and takes place under the incredible trees at the Burrard St. Skytrain Station.
2) Sakura Days Japan Fair
Set inside the VanDusen Gardens—a 55-acre woodland paradise in the middle of Vancouver—this festival is a Japanese cultural and culinary fair, featuring tons of great food and entertainment for all ages.
3) The Haiku Invitational
Here’s your chance to celebrate the beauty of Vancouver’s cherry trees through haiku. The theme to this contest changes annually and everyone is welcome to submit.
4) Tree Talks and Walk
There’s no better way to experience Vancouver’s best blooming locations than with a local expert as your guide.
You can learn more about these key festival events at http://www.vcbf.ca.