Bonsai, martial arts, Ikebana, singing, dancing, drumming, delicious food and other aspects of Japanese culture will take center stage at the 16th annual Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, a family-friendly event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday, on Sunday, August 17, 2014 on the grounds of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.
The Lantern Lighting Festival encompasses Japanese tradition through music, dance, crafts, martial arts and lanterns. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory grounds will open at 3 p.m., and live entertainment in The Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden and on the main stage will begin at 3:30 p.m. Entertainment will include taiko drumming groups, koto (Japanese sitar), shakuhachis (bamboo flutes), traditional and contemporary dance and singing. Martial arts, Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), origami demonstrations, bonsai demonstration, and a host of other cultural exhibits and demonstrations will line several paths through the grounds. Savory Japanese food and dozens of culturally-related items will also be for sale.
The day will culminate at dusk with the main event—the lantern lighting. Stone lanterns as well as hundreds of floating paper lanterns throughout the Japanese Garden pond and the Frog Pond will create a vision of peacefulness and harmony to commemorate the dead.
The Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, produced by Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, Japan America Society of Minnesota, and Saint Paul Nagasaki Sister City Committee will be held on Sunday, August 17, 2014 from 3:00pm-9:00pm. Admission is $5.00 per adult (13+), $3.00 per child (ages 3-12) and Seniors (ages 65+), free for children under 3. Free shuttle bus service will be available from a staffed off-site parking lot at the District Service Center located at 1930 Como Ave.