Saturday, April 11, 2009
Vancouver must be home to one of the largest amount of Japanese cherry and plum trees in North America. All the residential side streets are lined with them and it's at this time of the year when people go out of their way to witness this short-lived spectacle of pink.
In 2005, the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival was founded to celebrate our love of the cherry blossoms. The 2009 festival started on March 28 and continues until April 24. Featuring a wide variety of free activities around the city - from haiku contests, photo contests, organized bicycle rides, organized walks through the gardens, and musical performances, to the more traditional aspects of Japanese sakura culture - it's a great excuse to get out and experience this magical time of the year.
For those wishing to seek out the blossoms on their own, the festival has a cherry blossom viewing map which highlights what species are growing in each neighbourhood. But even then, you don't have to go anywhere in particular - just walk around the city and you'll find cherry blossoms in the least expected of places. Last Monday I found myself at Burrard Station downtown where the cherry blossoms were at peak display, changing the mood of the busy skytrain/bus station into that of awe and wonder.