Japanese Fall Festival links Springfield, Isesaki
The 19th Annual Japanese Fall Festival Friday through Sunday, Sept. 12-14, highlights one of the Ozarks’ most pristine attractions, the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield. The event is a fund-raiser for the Springfield Sister Cities Association, with plenty of support from the Springfield-Greene County Park Board as well as visitors from Isesaki, Japan and visiting musicians from St. Louis.
This year’s festival includes a performing delegation from Springfield’s sister city of Isesaki, an international Sumo champion, the Osuwa Taiko Drummers, Japanese top spinning, martial arts, a kimono fashion show and special dance performance and a wide array of other activities and local performances.
The festival also hosts daily tea ceremonies in the lakeside teahouse along with a tea café, nightly candlelight strolls through the garden, local performers, authentic Japanese food and regional artisans and merchants. A large tent-top market offers Japanese souvenirs and apparel, with all proceeds benefiting the Springfield Sister Cities Association and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.
Highlights of the festival include:
- Friday night opening ceremonies with hundreds of local Kindergarten-through-fifth grade students, who were invited as ambassadors to represent their classes from every Springfield public elementary school.
- International Sumo champion.
- Osuwa Taiko Drummers, from St. Louis- more at www.stltaiko.org.
- Visiting Isesaki, Japan delegation performance.
- Traditional Japanese top spinner Hiroshi Tada.
- Local martial arts groups.
- Local band DUkes: Drury University Ukulele Club, which will travel to Isesaki, Japan, in 2015.
- Hands-on kids’ activities from the Kickapoo High School Japanese Club, including chop sticks instruction, face painting, origami, Japanese-style yo-yos.
- A special Japanese arts tent.
The three-day festival runs from 5-10 p.m. Friday night; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7/adult; $3/ kids 3-12; toddlers age 2 and younger are free. Weekend passes may be purchased at the gate for $12/adult; $5/kids.
For volunteer or vendor information visit www.peacethroughpeople.org.