The Springfield Sister Cities Association, with support from the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, hosts the 21st Annual Japanese Fall Festival Friday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Sept. 11, in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.
The annual festival celebrates Japanese culture and Springfield’s Sister City relationship with Isesaki, Japan, now marking 30 years.
This year’s festival includes a special guest appearance by Branson fiddling star, Shoji Tabuchi who makes his Japanese Fall Festival debut Saturday, Sept. 10, 5 p.m.
The festival also features:
•New York’s Samurai Sword Soul.
•Taiko drumming from St. Louis Osuwa Takio.
•A delegation of musicians and guests from Springfield’s sister city of Isesaki, Japan
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•Kizuna, Springfield’s Japan-America Friendship Club, leading participatory dances as well as tea ceremonies in the lakeside teahouse, and a tea café.
•Japanese top spinning with Mr. Hiroshi Tada
•Martial arts from Springfield Aikido and Tracy’s Karate
•Japanese large-scale calligraphy with Seiran Chiba, from Fukushima, Japan, an area hit by the 2011 tsunami. Serial Chiba is visiting as an ambassador on behalf of the Japan Foundation.
•Friday night opening ceremonies with hundreds of local Kindergarten-through-fifth grade students, acting as ambassadors from every Springfield public elementary school.
•Friday and Saturday night candlelight strolls through the garden, beginning at dusk.
•Hands-on kids’ activities from the Kickapoo High School Japanese Club, including chop sticks instruction, face painting, origami, and Japanese-style yo-yos.
•Local performers, Japanese food, fish painting and regional artisans and merchants.
•A large tent-top market offering Japanese souvenirs and apparel, with all proceeds benefiting the Springfield Sister Cities Association and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.
The three-day festival runs from 5-10 p.m. Friday night; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Friday and Sunday admission is $7/adult; $3/kids 3-12; toddlers age 2 and younger are free. Saturday admission is $10/adults, $3/kids.
Volunteers and vendors are needed for the festival. For volunteer information, festival photos, a schedule of events and more, visit the Springfield Sister City Association at PeaceThroughPeople.org.
For media inquiries only, email Cindy Jobe, Springfield Sister City Association Executive Director, or contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2943 (desk) or 417-224-5510 (mobile) or email Jenny Edwards.