For Immediate Release
Japanese Fall Festival Returns to Stroll Garden
The Springfield Sister Cities Association, with support from the Springfield–Greene County Park Board, hosts the 17th Japanese Fall Festival Friday, Sept. 7, through Sunday, Sept. 9, in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave.
This year's festival includes special Shi-Shi-Mai (Lion Dance) performances, a professional Japanese storyteller, the Osuwa Taiko Drummers, Japanese top spinning, martial arts, a kimono fashion show and a wide array of other activities and performances.
The three-day festival runs from 5:30 – 10 p.m., Friday night; 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday; and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday. Admission is $7/adult; $5/kids 3-12; toddlers age 2 and younger are free. Weekend passes may be purchased at the gate for $10/adult; $7/kids.
This year's highlights include:
- Friday night opening ceremonies with a children's gathering comprised of hundreds of local Kindergarten-through-fifth grade elementary students, who were invited as ambassadors to represent their classes from every Springfield public elementary school;
- Shi-Shi Mai (Lion Dance), from the Japanese Folk Dance Institute of New York
- Japanese Storyteller Kuniko Yamamoto
- Osuwa Taiko Drummers, from St. Louis
- Traditional Japanese top spinner Hiroshi Tada, from St. Louis
- Local martial artists groups, including sword demonstrations
- Local musical group The Denzil and Jonathan Band, who will travel to Springfield sister city Isesaki, Japan in August
- Hands-on kids activities, from the Kickapoo High School Japanese Club, including chop sticks instruction, face painting, origami, Japanese-style yo-yos
The festival also hosts daily tea ceremonies in the lakeside tea house, nightly candlelight strolls through the garden, local performers, authentic Japanese food and regional artisans and merchants. A large tent-top market features Japanese souvenirs and apparel for sale, with all proceeds benefiting SSCA and the Japanese Garden. For a copy of this year's performance schedule, available Sept. 1, visit PeaceThroughPeople.org.
For media inquiries, call Cindy Jobe, Festival Coordinator, 417-864-1341, or Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.