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!