Spring Japanese Festival Celebrates Year of the Ox

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG|BRIT) invites visitors to celebrate spring in the Japanese Garden while exploring the arts and culture of Japan during the March 27-28 Spring Japanese Festival.

Hosted in cooperation with the Fort Worth Japanese Society, the festival includes cultural demonstrations, performances, unique shopping opportunities and traditional foods. Japanese Society member Harvey Yamagata says this year’s zodiac symbol represents a new perspective from last year’s Year of the Rat.“ We look to 2021 and the Year of the Ox as a sign of new hope, new prosperity and new wellness,” Yamagata said. “With emerging foliage, warmer weather and the chance to be in beautiful outdoor surroundings, the spring festival corresponds nicely with those attributes.”

Festival admission this spring offers a triple benefit, said Vice President for Horticulture and Assistant Director Bob Byers. “The thousands of tulips we planted in the fall will be on impressive display that weekend,“ Byers said. “As well, the large outdoor Stickwork exhibit is complete, waiting for in-and-out discovery and exploration.”

As with the Fall Japanese Festival, the same safety requirements will be in place. “Being outdoors, wearing masks, safe distanced and timed entry seemed to provide the assurance guests needed based on the encouraging feedback we received,” Byers said.

Japanese culture highlights from the Spring Festival will include:

  • Performances by two Taiko drumming groups, karate experts and Master Swordsman G.K. Sugai.
  • Displays of the miniature worlds of bonsai trees from the Fort Worth Bonsai Society, and demonstrations in Origami, Calligraphy and Japanese Games.
  • Vendors selling treasures from origami jewelry to anime plush figures, star charts to crafts made with vintage kimonos.
  • Traditional dances.
  • Food from Asian food trucks preparing delicious meals and snacks, as well as authentic Japanese cuisine prepared by the Fort Worth Japanese Society.

Safety protocols and other event details include the following:

  • Tickets are included with the price of Botanic Garden admission ($12) and must be bought online to adhere to admission limits for the Festival.
  • Members receive free entry, but still must register in advance. To become a member, visit here.
  • Guests entering the Garden must wear masks, which are required for this event.
  • Performances have been moved outside of the Japanese Garden to ensure plenty of space between performers and the public. 
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be positioned around the Garden, and vendors will provide sanitizer at their booths.

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