Japanese Culture and Lantern Fest to Celebrate Sister Cities 50th Anniversary
CLEARWATER – The City of Clearwater will commemorate the 50th anniversary of its Sister Cities relationship with Nagano, Japan with an April 25 Japanese Culture and Lantern Festival.
From 4 to 8:30 p.m., Station Square Park downtown will feature all things Japanese including cultural displays, demonstrations, musical performances and the festival’s highlight: a lantern lighting at dusk.
Miami’s Consul General of Japan, the Honorable Hiroshi Yamaguchi, will participate with Clearwater officials in a welcome ceremony. Demonstrations of traditional Japanese martial activities will include judo, kendo and yagyu. Other Japanese traditions on display will be the art of kimono, tea ceremonies and arts and crafts such as bonsai, sumi-e painting, calligraphy, the construction of lanterns and origami. Musical performances will include taiko drummers and the koto, a Japanese stringed instrument.
Clearwater’s lantern festival mirrors a similar event that has been observed annually in Nagano since it hosted the 1998 XVIII Winter Olympic Games. The City of Clearwater collaborated with Nagano on that worldwide event, a highlight of the Sister Cities relationship that has been active since 1959.
The Japanese Culture and Lantern Festival is free and open to the public. It is also part of the city’s annual Fun ‘n Sun Festival. Further information is available through the Cultural Affairs Division at www.myclearwater.com/culturalarts or by calling (727) 562-4809.
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