Take in beautiful pink blooms at the Oregon State Capitol
Among dozens of cherry blossom trees, the Oregon State Capitol will host its fifth annual Cherry Blossom Day on March 16. On and off for more than 100 years, the Salem and Mid-Willamette Valley area held festivities to celebrate the area’s abundant cherry orchards. Today, the celebrations highlight the importance of cherry trees in the region and the rich impact of Japanese culture on the state.
From a kimono contest to bonsai demonstrations, the Capitol will host numerous free, family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests can immerse themselves in Japanese culture by participating in Gyotaku (fish printing), origami and calligraphy. Traditional Japanese performances and exhibits, including a tea ceremony, Taiko drumming and festival dancing, will also take place.
Take a tour to the top of the Oregon State Capitol to stand directly underneath the golden pioneer. The tours are scheduled throughout the day, weather permitting. Afterwards, take a self-guided walking tour of the Capitol and grounds.
If you can’t make it to the festival, the Salem Theatre Network will host a city-wide theater event March 8-10. The Cherry Blossom Theatre Festival will feature nine workshops and a national one-act competition at several venues in downtown Salem. Complete a Theatre Festival passport to visit several Salem theaters, events and restaurants and enter to win prizes.
Enjoy a Japanese-inspired dinner and hors d'oeuvres paired with Oregon wines at Willamette Valley Vineyards, in Turner, Oregon, on March 7. A portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Theatre Festival.
Several local businesses will also celebrate cherry blossom season throughout the coming weeks. Through March 30, more than 30 parasols designed by local artists will be on display at 19 downtown businesses.
To plan your trip to the Cherry City, click here.