Since January, 2003
            
 Sliding from Before to After

The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, one of the largest of the annual events associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, will be relocating to New Jersey and M Streets SE this year, thanks to a squeeze on Pennsylvania Avenue resulting from the impending opening of the Trump International Hotel.
The festival, which attracted more than 40,000 people last year, will be held Saturday, April 16--and with the festival listing its entrances as being at New Jersey and N, First and N, and First and M, it appears to be on the footprint of the Yards, at the former Spooky Building 213 and (eventual Spooky Park) site. (If so, there's a lot of dirt to be covered over in the next five weeks!)
The festival bills itself as the "largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the United States," and the "grand finale of the National Cherry Blossom Festival." Alas, the official festival web site has not yet posted a 2016 program guide, or festival map, but tickets are on sale for $8 in advance--they'll be $10, cash only, at the gates. There are some details available on the food/beverage and "Bring Japan Home" offerings.
It doesn't sound like this is a permanent move, with WBJ quoting the president of the Japan-America Society as saying that “We’re already thinking ahead to 2017 to see where we might need to go."
The Cherry Blossom Parade is from 10 am to noon along Constitution Avenue, with Sakura Matsuri running from 10:30 am to 6 pm, so judicious non-attendees will definitely want to avoid the Green Line that day.
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BLT says: (3/3/16 11:56 AM)
Good to know that huge area may be spiffed up at, or near, the beginning of baseball season.


202_cyclist says: (3/3/16 1:40 PM)
And the beer fest at Nats Park is also on Apr. 16!


dude says: (3/4/16 8:04 AM)
Sounds good to me.

Would be a shame if they don't get it looking nicer between now and then.


JES says: (3/5/16 4:41 PM)
It's been over a year since that building bit the dust; crazy how long it's taken to lay sod... was there some environmental cleanup that needed to happen?


jdc says: (3/6/16 7:58 PM)
Just to echo JES - that area is as much of an eyesore now as it was before. I cannot believe nothing was done all this time. Forget sod, how about some random wildflower seeds thrown down at least? It's so visually unappealing and it lies at the center of JDLand.


JD says: (3/7/16 1:49 PM)
If you look at my shot from the roof of Arris today, you can see that the Spooky Park footprint is getting smoothed considerably, in preparation for seeding for grass sometime this month. (How that jibes with the festival being held there, well.... I think it's possible the festival might end up on one of the Yards parking lots.)

At the very least the Spooky Park sidewalks are supposed to be open for baseball season, making the walk from the New Jersey & M subway exit to the ballpark a slightly more spacious one.

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