The sun, blossoms and hordes of happy people came out during a celebration of spring at Miyazu Park.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival was organised by the Nelson Miyazu Sister City Association and the Nelson Japanese Society.
Nelson Miyazu Sister City Association chairwoman Mary Carter said between 4000 and 5000 people were at yesterday's event.
“We were amazed. There were people everywhere. It was a bit overwhelming," she said.
"The blossoms were so beautiful. They must have been at their height. They were a week late last year and I think they have been a week earlier this year.”
The crowd enjoyed puppetry, Japanese food, tea ceremonies, the Rai Jin Taiko Drummers, origami, traditional martial arts demonstrations and children's games.
Puppeteer Akiko Miyamoto put on a Japanese version of The Three Little Pigs, as well as a traditional “lion dance” to celebrate the coming of spring. “She is wonderful. The children just loved it.”
Another attraction was master calligrapher Akiko Crowther, who wrote words for people with brush and ink. “She was the last person to leave. We're very lucky to have her here [in Nelson]. She was very busy all day. People waited and waited to have something written by her.”
However, the blossoms were the star of the show. “There were a lot of people getting photographs, even while we were setting up. The cherry blossoms were so beautiful all over the hill.”
- © Fairfax NZ News