Cherry blossoms are starting to bloom across the city, and though Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom tracker shows they’re coming up there as well, their yearly celebration of the vibrant pink buds is no more.
Sakura Matsuri was the Garden’s annual cherry blossom festival, celebrating Japanese culture with a rich program of events. It usually occurs toward the end of April, but was sadly canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19 and hasn’t made a comeback since.
A Garden rep told us that though they are not holding Sakura Matsuri this year, they are instead showcasing a series of events in April and early May to celebrate cherry blossom season — as of course the trees will still be brightly blooming all April.
On the Saturdays of April 23, 30, and May 7, 2022 from 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m., there will be pop-up music and dance performances, chances to talk with BBG gardeners, morning programming for kids and families in the Discovery Garden, and Garden tours.
Here’s a taste of the programming, which will all be free with Garden admission:
Saturday, April 23
- Flower Hat Dance Workshop & Parade: Join a children’s hanagasa odori (flower hat dance) workshop and parade with the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of N.Y. 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the Water Garden
- The SAKURA: Energetic shamisen player The SAKURA performs traditional and contemporary anime songs. 11 a.m.–12 p.m. in the Osborne Garden
- Minbuza Performance: Season in Japan — The Japanese Folk Dance Institute of N.Y. celebrates the seasons with beautiful and lively traditional folk dances from throughout Japan. 3-4 p.m. in the Osborne Garden.
Saturday, April 30
- Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden Tour: A brief but comprehensive tour in one of BBG’s best-known specialty gardens. This tour highlights many Japanese garden elements and showcases seasonal blooms.
- Taiko Masala: Thunderous traditional taiko drumming performed on the Overlook each hour on the hour. 1–4 p.m. on the hour, Overlook/Cherry Esplanade
- Sachiyo Ito & Company: Sachiyo Ito & Company perform exquisitely graceful Japanese classical dances, celebrating the beauty of cherry blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. 1:30–2 p.m., location TBD
Saturday, May 7
- Imamou Lele: Join a Haitian drumming and dance workshop for families and participants of all ages. 11–11:45 a.m. in the Water Garden
- Redhawk Dancers: The Redhawk Dancers share traditional songs and stories of Native American nations across North and South America. 12:30–1:30 p.m. in the Osborne Garden
- Brownstone Jazz Ensemble: Enjoy a performance by Brownstone Jazz Ensemble featuring Eric Lemons (bass), Silvano Monasterios (piano), Tommy Morimoto (sax), and Bruce Cox (drums). 1–2 p.m. at the Plant Family Collection
They also have extended hours during peak bloom season so you have plenty of time too see the pink paradise in all its glory:
April 15–May 15, 2022: Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Bloom
- Open early & late! Tuesday–Thursday: 8 a.m.–sunset
- Open early! Friday–Sunday: 8 a.m.–6 p.m.
Remember, you can also see the best time to visit via their “Cherry Blossom Tracker”!
Stay up to date on Art in the Garden: Weekends in Bloom here.