It was a gorgeous sunny day for the opening of the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival at the Burrard skytrain station today.

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The Akebono cherry buds were about to open, and there were some blossoms at the top of the trees.

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First stop: the Cocktails and Canape booth where you could pick up a Blossom Bliss picnic, along with cherry blossom shake, and popcorn dessert.

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After browsing the vendors’ table, it was time to pick a spot: the show was about to start.

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First, Sinfonia Orchestra took the stage for an amazing concert. A choir accompanied them on stage, and then some flash-mob singers, dispersed throughout the crowd, joined their voice for a rendition of Sakura! Sakura! I’m really glad they played it twice because that was a pretty cool to hear all the voices joining the choir from everywhere in the station.

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Then, we were delighted by the sound of Son De Maple, a Vancouver based band with a latin sound and the most amazing percussionist I’ve ever seen (never thought someone could play a tambourine like this).

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The Cherry Jam concert ended with the Uzume Taiko drumming group. They were accompanied  by members of the South Asian Arts group who made us dance to the sound of Bollywood music.

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Linda Poole, the festival director, closed the festivities and wished everybody a happy spring and a great Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.

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The Akebono cherry trees, which are be 2-3 weeks behind the normal blooming season, are just about to open everywhere in the city, so go visit soon!

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Leaving the station, I saw a woman taking pictures of the smaller tree planted in front of the station and realized this was probably my best chance for me to get a close-up  of the blossoms. The tree is in the sunlight. It was perfect.

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If you didn’t pick up a VCBF schedule at the festival tent, you’ll find it in this this week’s Georgia Straight. Visit our website for a complete list of activities and updates.

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