NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The cherry blossoms are in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
The countdown is on to one of spring’s most anticipated events.
The annual Sakura Matsuri Festival takes place this weekend and celebrates all things Japanese.
The garden has more than 200 flowering trees on its property and they almost in full bloom, CBS2’s Elise Finch reported.
Rows of bright pink blossoms greet people on Cherry Esplanade.
It’s just one of several locations at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden where people can get up close to the famous flowering plants.
“This is my wife’s favorite flower so we had to come out,” one visitor told Finch.
“I love the landscaping. I think it’s gorgeous. I want this to be my back yard,” said another.
“The trees are very beautiful and I really think they’re really amazing,” said another visitor.
On Tuesday, warm temperatures and sunny skies drew people to the garden, where the cherry blossom trees are in various stages of bloom.
“The kwanzans that you see out here on the Cherry Esplanade are our later blooming ones those are the ones that most people are familiar with cause they’re double flowered and bright pink. That’s what people think of when they see cherry blossoms,” said Mark Fisher, vice president of horticulture at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Once you’re at the garden you don’t have to wonder where to get started taking it all in, just check the Cherry Watch. It’s the Garden’s web page that’s updated each day that gives you the petal blooming status of every tree in the main collection.”
The trees are only at peak bloom for 7-10 days each year, and that will happen during this weekend’s festival.
The festival will feature live music, dance performances, art demonstrations, tea ceremonies, Japanese inspired food and drink, activities for kids and more.
“There are demonstrations of different types of Japanese culture, from calligraphy to martial arts,’ said Jonathan Secor, director of public programming at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. “There’s a Japanese marketplace where there will be a dozen vendors selling everything from sushi-wrapped clothing to chocolates.”
Tickets for the rain or shine event cost $30 for adults, $25 for students and seniors. Children under 12 get in free.
“Cherry blossoms will come from light pink single flowers to a darker pink. Some are white even single and double flowers. You have all different shades of white to pink. There’s even one that’s an off-color green that’s very nice as well,” said Fisher. “By this weekend, they’ll be at peak.”
There’ll be more than just the cherry blossoms to see on the 52-acre property, Fisher said.
“Well, in addition to all the performers and everything else you see, there are some really great plants to look at. The tulips are spectacular. The south end of the water garden, which is a new garden that opened for us, will be really wonderful. So there’s a stream, there’s a children’s discovery area, there’s a lot happening,” Fisher said.
Organizers say nearly 60,000 people attend the event each year, so it’s best to buy tickets in advance.
For tickets and more information, click here.