Thousands Come Out For Cherry Blossom Parade
by Derrick Ward
April 14, 2012
Thousands of revelers crammed both sides of Constitution Avenue Saturday morning for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
A traditional part of the festival's final Saturday, the parade attracted a crowd that organizers estimated at 30,000. Grand Marshals Marie Osmond and Olympic gold medalists Kristi Yamaguchi and Benita Fitzgerald Mosley oversaw the festivities, which served as a lead-in to the ongoing Sakura-Matsuri Japanese Street Festival.
The crowd was treated to musical performances by Javier Colon, winner of the 2011 season of "The Voice," as well as "American Idol" finalist Shibon Magnus, singer Nathan Pacheco, and dance music artist Kristine W.
The individual performers were joined by 12 marching bands, including a Blossom All-Star Band made up of 350 members, and the Taiko drummers from Tamagawa University as well as the 13-member Yamakiya Taiko Club from Fukushima, Japan.