Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival Report

On March 24 this year, I went to Nashville for the annual 桜祭り, or cherry blossom festival. This festival is fairly new–it’s only been running since 2010–but still has plenty to offer despite its small size, and seems to grow each year.

Overall, we had a good time, despite the sky dumping gallons of water on us and the bite of the cold wind. ^^; I don’t have too many pictures because of the rain, but I did manage to take a few.

Let’s go back to earlier that morning. I got up at 6:00 to eat breakfast and juice, and spent the rest of the time getting ready and what not. The rest of the household took a little bit longer to rise and get themselves ready, so we were a little late heading out. Some errands needed to be done on the way down, so I took a nap in the car. xP

Upon arriving at the festival, we had to circle around to find a parking spot in the underground parking garage, finally having to go down to the third level before we found one. Then we used the elevators to get to the festival location itself.

I immediately took note of the overcast sky and chilly conditions, remembering glumly that it had been like this the year before, too. Nevertheless, we wandered around, stopping first at the martial arts area to watch them “perform.”

My dad didn’t want to watch the whole duration of it (he’s a physical therapist so I guess he didn’t like seeing them do moves that could really hurt them), and the location was cold, so we drifted away from that area in order to wander around some more.

Of course everyone was hanging around the anime/manga tables…

Found these at this table too:

They were all out of sizes that would have actually fit my brother or me (they were kid sizes…) so my brother got a Gohan Super Saiyan and Piccolo figure set and I got a Super Lucky Bag from a man sharing one side of the anime tent, which I’ll show you in a moment.

There were some cosplayers last year, but a lot more this year thanks to MTAC holding a cosplay contest. It was quite interesting to see, since I’ve never been to an anime convention and don’t often have the opportunity to be surrounded by cosplay.

One of the things I had wanted to see was the slideshow presentation about anime/manga meccas in Tokyo. As a whole, the information was good, but I left the tent feeling like I hadn’t really learned much. The speaker went rather quickly and still went over time, which was fine because she had a lot of info to cover, but it got a bit boring at times because she had a tendency to ramble. In my opinion, the presentation would have been better with a printed guidebook so the listeners could follow along, take notes if they wanted, or go home and read it thoroughly to get a better understanding of it. It would have been a great opportunity to include references, resources, and related links that the listener could follow up with.

After that we watched Ebiken’s performance! I don’t have any photos of it because it was drizzling most of the time, but you can search on Youtube for something like “ebiken nashville cherry blossom festival” and you can find a few videos. He also has a Youtube channel. For those of you who don’t know who he is, he is an amazing dancer!!

He performed on the main stage underneath a tent, which is also where the other performances took place (singers, musicians, chorus groups, etc… They were all very good!). The cosplay judging tent can be seen next to the main stage.

Almost immediately after Ebiken’s performance ended, it the heavens opened up and poured down rain. We dove for the nearest tent, which happened to be close to the MTAC booth and right next to a hot food booth. Unfortunately, because of the tables and the other people trying to take shelter from the downpour, I ended up with my head and the front of me underneath the tent and the rest of me outside of the tent, and since I was right next to the corner, water was pouring onto my back AND IT WAS SO COLD. AGH.

We, uh, went home after that. o_o;

(Note to self: Next year, bring a heavy coat AND an umbrella.)

Want to see my lucky bag? ^o^

Well, that’s about it! Thanks for reading. ^o^ I hope to go again next year. Each year I go I discover new things, including what I need to bring to protect myself from the weather. ^^; Next year the event will be held on March 23.

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