Back from Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival 2010

Well, this is late. Shame on me.

The Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival was held on Saturday, March 27 in Nashville’s Public Square.

The festival is organized annually (this being year two) by the The Japan-America Society of Tennessee and the Consulate-General of Japan at Nashville.

The day was beautiful out in the Public Square. The sun was out and shining in full force (much to the dismay of my sunburned compatriots). The air was jacket temperature in the morning, but it soon warmed up.

The Public Square in downtown Nashville sits directly in front of the Nashville City Hall and Davidson County Courthouse. It used to be a parking lot before choosing to keep parking underground (in an almost cave-like area) and undergoing a renewal project and to give it fountains, a circle patch of grass, an observation tower and more. It’s a generally attractive setting and the perfect location for the festival.

The front steps of the courthouse served as the perfect stage for musical and entertainment performances throughout the day, while chairs were placed in the grass even though some opted to simply sit in the soft grass.

The same grassy circle was by tents on the left and right sides. All day long, vendors sold Japanese trinkets and food, including some tasty takoyaki and sushi. Exhibitors, like us with MTAC, promoted whatever organization they were with.

Since the grass lays on top of a former parking lot, it’s only about two to three inches deep, so not good for tent stakes. Many of the tents were provided by the festival and were weighted down by water barrels. The MTAC tent, however, didn’t have any, so we jerry-rigged some weights out of what we brought. Didn’t help from the wind lifting our tent up three times, the first actually rolling onto someone. At least it was exciting.

Despite that  set back, we got to meet and promote to a lot of local Nashvillians who never heard of MTAC before. Even Nashville Mayor Karl Dean stopped by and talked to my friend Heydn. Of course, there were also plenty of fans and friends who also stopped by.

Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera with me, and while my phone actually doesn’t have a horrible camera, I didn’t utilize it as much as I could. Sometimes I regret not being more of an instinctual shutterbug. I didn’t take any pictures of people or booths. There was this one little kid with an actual Kamen Rider Decade shirt I wish I got a photo of. I just need to be a faster draw on my camera.

At the end of the day, after the wind died down and the sunburn set in, the Cherry Blossom Festival was a fun day out in the sun. Got to eat some good food, hang out in a beautiful part of Nashville and spend the day with friends.

(In other news, finally uploaded more MidSouthCon pics (see review here). Had to wait for my upload limit to roll over with the end of the month. Looks like I’ll need a pro account one of these days. )

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