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Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival returns in San Francisco

San Francisco is welcoming spring with the 57th annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.

Thousands of people flocked to the city’s Japantown Saturday for the opening ceremony of the festival.

Organizers say it’s a celebration of Japanese and Japanese American culture. Saturday’s event featured live performances, a tea ceremony and many more traditions.

The event comes as the Japanese prime minister gifted new cherry blossom trees to the White House.

“I think that’s a good strong sign of connection between the two countries. And so, even behind me, I have cherry blossom trees in the peace plaza as well as through some of our Buchanan Mall. So it’s a good symbol of the community,” said Cherry Blossom Festival co-chair Matthew Nagatomi.

The Japanese Cultural and Community Center is hosting more events throughout the next week. It will culminate in a parade on Apr. 21 at 1 p.m.

NBC Bay Area’s Mike Inouye is emceeing the parade. NBC Bay Area will also be streaming the event live on Roku, Samsung TV Plus, Amazon Fire TV And Google TV.

For more information, visit

Source: NBC Bay Area

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