Posts Tagged ‘grand marshall’

San Francisco’s 42nd Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, 2009

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

As expected, there was a great turnout for the 42nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown today. Sunny skies and the Grand Parade made today the busiest of the four-day festival. Let’s take a look at the staging area this morning.

Its Grand Marshall George Takei! Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu (born in San Francisco) is seen here hanging out with Heidi Cheung, Miss San Francisco’s Outstanding Teen 2009 and Crystal Lee, Miss California’s Outstanding Teen 2008.

Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California President and Mrs. Masaaki Tanaka, Ambassador of Japan to the United States of America, H.E. Ambassador and Mrs. Ichiro Fujisajki, George Takei, and Consul General of Japan and Mrs. Yasumasa Nagamine:

The mise-en-scene in front of City Hall:. Click to expand:

My Melody, Hello Kitty, and Badtz Maru were pleased to be on the scene:

From Hawaii with aloha:

Photographer David Yu was welcomed by all, including this contingent from Los Angeles:

Miss National Asia Dow-An Kou is on the right:

Bevan Dufty chilling with local pageant winners. 

Elizabeth Kress, Miss San Francisco:

And Little Miss San Francisco 2009, Alyssa-Marie Muna:

And now on with the parade:

Senator Leland Yee:

Frosty Senator Mark Leno:

Assemblymember Fiona Ma with Bob Twomey:

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano:

Board of Supervisors President David Chiu:

And his ride for today:

Supervisor Bevan Dufty and company:

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi with the Japanese Ambassador and Consul General:

Supervisor Eric Mar:

 Richard Hashimoto, President of the Japantown Merchants Association:

Thought this was an electric Tesla Roadster at first. Actually, it’s the similar (but lighter) gas-powered Lotus Elise. (Horrible Tesla Motors is long on promises, certainly, but just because a toy car is expensive and is powered by electricity, that doesn’t mean it’s a desirable product, that doesn’t mean it represents “the high end.” Just ask Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ended up giving his Tesla Roadster back. Go ahead and buy one if you want, though. While you’re at it, why not buy an impractical electric Ultra Motor A2B bike and an impractical electric Segway Scooter as well.)

Speaking of cars, here’s part of the NUMMI contingent all the way from Fremont. It’s the only car factory in the West that’s still operating. Union labor, FYI 

Nihonmachi Little Friends:

And your reward for making it all the way to J-Town? Yummy chicken and rice balls from O-Izakaya Lounge at 1625 Post Street.

See you next year!

It’s On! San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom Festival 2009 Finishes Up This Weekend

Friday, April 17th, 2009

The forecast is for sunny skies and balmy weather, so it’s going to be on this weekend during the 42nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown. Check the shedewl and get over there. You might encounter a Queen, see Grand Marshall George Takei, win a Toyota in the raffle, don an anime costume, wear your kimono, eat comfort food including dessert, and experience Aloha.

Here’s what the past weekend was like.

Of course the haters from the troubled 1600 Webster condo building would prefer to shut the whole shebang down, but unrestrained Hello Kitty joy will continue in the middle of Post Street nevertheless:

From Okinawa with love:

The mise-en-scene. This street festival has all the usual suspects, such as quack “doctors” and the dude who wants you to subscribe to the New York Times. But it also has a lot of unique things. It’s not just another S.F. streetfest:

OMG, it’s your new car! The Corolla you’ll win after you enter the raffle will look something like a green fish, and it will have orange tires – you’ll have to change those out to black if you want to avoid trouble from the authoritahs, however.

From the recent Queen Program at the Sundance Kabuki. Don’t call it a pageant:

These menacing street toughs headed over to the 1600 Webster Building (can you see it with the ornate top up there?) with malice aforethought…

…only to be subdued by this security guard. Whew! WTF? Who’s paying for this gratuitous guard? He looked extremely bored.  

Mckenzie Phillips is back to her old habit of ruining tourist photos. I told her, This is it! You’ve got to stop doing this kind of stuff, M.P.” She said that she’s trying to do better, taking things one day at a time. By the way the Asian Art Museum is getting all geared up for Lords of the Samurai. It’s going to be mega. (Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan continues through May 10, 2009) 

Will Catbus and Totoro return to the Anime contingent in the Grand Parade on Sunday? We can only hope:

FYI, the anime stuff isn’t exactly G-rated. It could surprise you. From the banal…

…to the bizarre:

See you there this weekend!


Complete parade lineup, after the jump.