The 2023 Irmo Cherry Blossom Festival

Clouds of cherry blossoms are a sign of the arrival of spring. The 6th annual Irmo Cherry Blossom Festival honors these exuberantly flowering trees that remind us of the beauty and the preciousness of life.

The official celebration takes place Saturday, March 25, 10:00 am-5:00 pm (Rain Date, March 26) in the Irmo Town Park, located at 7330 Carlisle St, Irmo, SC 29063.

The family-friendly festival features blossom-viewing, food vendors, handcrafted artwork and more.

Artists and craftspeople of all kinds will set up a spot and vend their cherry blossom inspired-wares and both traditional and pop-culture Japanese-themed art, such as origami (folded paper art), woodblock prints and even anime-inspired cartoon art. Informational booths are also slated: the Lexington County Library will showcase the Japanese pop-literature genres like anime and manga, local Bugz Bunny Rescue will help attendees celebrate the Lunar Year of the Rabbit, and the Ikebana International Chapter #182 will showcase the Japanese art of flower arranging. Food by Cox Family BBQ will have a Japanese flair, Kusina Filipina food truck will serve steamed buns, egg rolls and dumplings, The Apothecary Tea Service will offer a variety of teas and tea-related goods, and Haiku Coffee will have a hot beverage booth.

A Japanese import car drive-in sponsored by Japan Direct Motors will be held 9:00am-Noon in the Town Of Irmo Administration Building parking lot, 7300 Woodrow Street, Irmo SC. Vote for People’s Choice at the Japan Direct Motors booth in font of the Irmo Chamber of Commerce; to the winner goes a custom-created by the 3-D printing artists at Soda City Art, and gift certificate provided by Christian Brothers Automotive in Irmo. Also located in Irmo, Japan Direct Motors specializes in the sale of JDM right-hand drive cars imported from Japan.

The winner of the festival’s haiku contest, chosen by the City of Columbia’s poet Laureate Jennifer Bartell Boykin, will be honored at noon.

During Anime, Manga and Cosplay Afternoon, all cosplayers are welcome to enjoy the festival in costume. A cosplay contest hosted by Soda City Art cosplay fabricators will be held from 1:00-4:00 pm. Prizes include a custom-created by the 3-D printing artists at Soda City Art and 4-day passes to Momocon, an “all-ages Geek Culture Convention” held in Atlanta in May.

The ever-popular and informal Kimono Stroll will be held noon-3:00. People are encouraged to don their kimono, haori, yukata and happi coats and stroll the park! Traditional Japanese attire is encouraged, but not required.

Plein air artists and photographers are invited to set up a spot and capture the beauty of the cherry blossom and festival scenes.

For more information, write: [email protected]

Planted in 2001, the six Yoshino trees put forth an amazing bloom at their peak. The Irmo Town Park comes alive with the billowing pale pink blooms in late March. Picnics are welcome; the Irmo Town Park does not allow dogs.