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US: New Haven, CT – Welcome Spring at New Haven’s Cherry Blossom Festival

The 44th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a celebration of spring commemorating the planting of 72 Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees in 1973.  Hanami (cherry blossom) viewing, has been a Japanese custom since the 7th century when the aristocrats enjoyed the transient beauty of  looking at sakura (cherry trees). Sakura is a symbol of Japan, and it’s said that there are over 400 varieties of cherry trees in Japan.CherryTrees

The longstanding tradition of the Cherry Blossom Festival,  takes place  in New Haven’s Historic Wooster Square, and offers something for everyone in the family, including your 4 -legged family member.

Enjoy free entertainment including music, dancing, shop a flea market, food, a children and family area that includes puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting and activities from the Peabody Museum, New Haven Free Public Library’s Readmobile and a raptor-rescue organization  -Horizon Wings.CBFestival_15 (1)

There is a Pet Friendly area, with New Haven Animal Shelter, Greater New Haven Cat Project, Little Shop of Howlers, Pups Without Partners and Veterinary Wellness Center.

With so much to do don’t forget the main attraction, enjoying the scenic view of the early blooming cherry blossoms. This family-friendly festival is a great and inexpensive way to bring in spring.

Location: Wooster Square, New Haven, CT 06511
Date: Sun., April 23, 2017
Time: 12 – 5pm
Tel: 203-777-1371
historicwoostersquare.org/cherryblossomfestival.html
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

Canada: BC has Authentic Asian Night Markets

In Richmond, BC, Canada,  mounds of swirly hurricane fries, Japanese takoyaki, and sweetly flavoured mini donuts are ready to hit the fryers. Grills are heating up in anticipation of skewered seaweed, squid pancakes, roasted yams and fresh duck wraps. Sweet treats, from mountains of sweet mango and cream to fresh dragon’s beard candy, are being scooped and spun for the hot summer months ahead. Meanwhile, vendors are ready to sell their unique wares to shoppers, as performers line up to entertain you.

Richmond is home to 2 Asian night markets, bringing the Far East to the Canadian West Coast. The Richmond Night Market and the International Summer Night Market combine to bring nearly 150 food stalls and over 400 retail vendors to their sites.

With a population that is 65 per cent Asian, Richmond’s two Asian night markets bring together cuisines from Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France, Kenya and Canadian First Nations. Snaking through the dining stalls is like being transported around the world, and offers a chance to sample some finger-licking good bites.

And, even with so much diversity, there is one element that unites all foods – the humble skewer. Look for tasty and swirly skewered potatoes dipped in flavoured salts – these night market skewers are just one of the “on-a-stick” options carried around the markets. Other stalls can be found skewering everything from spears of asparagus wrapped with bacon, to fried garlic prawns and juicy Thai chicken satay.

Vendors at both night markets bring together some of the hottest and most unique accessories – including jewelry, clothing, and everything you didn’t know you needed – at street-side prices (cheap). The most popular items visitors head there for are – socks and cell phone covers. For the fanciest of footwear, look out for superheroes, animals galore and, Mr. Gangnam himself, Psy. To keep electronics safe or give them some sparkle Richmond’s night markets have got it covered.

www.richmond.ca