Philly’s Cherry Blossom Bust

Have you ever made plans and tried to see something countless times and somehow it never works out? 

For whatever reason, when it comes to cherry blossoms that is us. 

Why do they hate me so?

This past weekend we hopped in the car, drove 90 minutes and ended up at the Horticulture Center in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Unfortunately for us and a few thousand other people, the blossoms have yet to bloom this season. In Washington DC, however, the blossoms were holding on strong. This seems to be a common occurrence for us.
This time last year, we drove 3 hours to Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms. It was the day after their festival ended and it was slated to be beautiful. The cherry blossoms were supposed to be holding on until at least a couple days after the festival. A heat wave and strong winds resulted in petals being knocked off of the trees. It ended up being a bust. A little up north, however in Philadelphia the trees were rockin’. Or so I heard. 

What are we doing wrong? 
This year we were excited because this time we would for sure see the cherry blossoms! This year would be our year. I mean, last year Philly’s trees were still holding strong long after DC’s petals had fallen. So, what would you do? The exact opposite. So, we are going to Philadelphia’s Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. 

We bought our tickets on Friday and started planning. There is so much happening there. They have tea ceremonies, a taiko drumming and dancing troupe, karaoke, Harajuku & Cosplay fashion shows, a Japanese drumming troupe, origami, calligraphy, Prettiest Pet in Pink contest, and so much more. The one thing we forgot to hold our breaths on were….the cherry blossoms.

We planned to arrive before 12:45pm and be inside by that time. We wanted to see the Harajuku Fashion Show. We are standing in line to get into the front gates and I look around. Where are the cherry blossoms? What is going on? Clearly, they had other business to attend to. Oh, and we missed the fashion show. Go figure.

We decided to walk around and see what was happening. There were many people in Harajuku and Cosplay outfits.

And the grounds were packed. Though I’m sure they were all wondering the same thing I was. What happened to the cherry blossoms?

We ended up listening to terrible wonderful karaoke while waiting to watch the Cosplay Fashion Show.

To be honest, I know nothing about cosplay. I did enjoy the effort people were putting into their outfits.

After our traditional Japanese meal of chicken tenders, fries, and a beef hot dog (kidding, clearly), we walked to the main stage to see Bonten. 

Boten, for those who do not know, is a Japanese taiko drumming group consisting of seven men and women. They perform songs using Japanese taiko drums, a Japanese flute, a Japanese harp, and a piano. They are simply amazing! It was crowded and rightfully so. 

Here is a video from the performance that I saw:

It was so cool to watch. 

We did not stay as long as we had hoped. Dogs can’t feed themselves can they? If so, comment below and let me know your secrets!

Before leaving we took a quick walk and what do you know:

One, solitary cherry blossom tree. It was a hot commodity and people were taking turns posing with the only flowering cherry blossom tree. 

Cherry blossom trees – 2, us – 0

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