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Japanese Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden Marks Year of the "Pink"
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), August 17 2014 - Join the Missouri Botanical Garden in celebrating the culture and traditions of Japan when the 38th annual Japanese Festival returns to St. Louis this Labor Day Weekend. 2014 marks the year of the Dianthus or "Nadeshiko," commonly referred to as the "Pink."
From traditional music to martial arts, sumo to sushi, calligraphy, bon odori dancing to bonsai displays and thunderous taiko drumming to Tea House Island tours, the three-day Labor Day weekend is filled with sights, sounds and experiences for the entire family.
Seiwa-en, the "garden of pure, clear harmony and peace" and one of the largest authentic Japanese strolling gardens in North America, takes center stage for the weekend's festivities. A boisterous opening ceremony kicks off the celebration Saturday morning at the Japanese Garden entrance with an elaborate omikoshi Shinto shrine parade, bon odori festival dancing, taiko drumming and remarks by local and visiting dignitaries.
Returning for the 10th year by popular demand, retired sumo wrestlers from the Hawaiian Islands will give visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle, training and fighting techniques of Japan's ancient warrior. Hear their perspective and watch several practice sessions during demonstrations twice daily.
The acclaimed Sachiyo Ito & Company Japanese arts organization is a new addition to the Festival this year. They offer artistic performances and educational and exchange programs that promote Japanese culture through the arts, particularly dance. The Company performs and teaches classical dance forms including Kabuki, Noh, Okinawan Court, and Jiuta-mai, and presents contemporary works choreographed by Sachiyo Ito, which preserve the aesthetics of traditional Japanese dance.
The 2014 Japanese Festival is Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 1 (Labor Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults ages 13 and over and $5 for members; members' children (ages 12 and under) are free.
The Missouri Botanical Garden, fondly known as Shaw's Garden to St. Louisans, contains a formal English garden, traditional Japanese garden, Margaret Blanke Grigg Chinese garden, the Flower Trial Garden, greenhouses and extensive landscaping. The garden also features the Climatron Complex, water lily reflection ponds and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.
The Climatron® geodesic dome and rainforest conservatory was dedicated 40 years ago in October 1960, replacing an old house built in 1913. The structure incorporates principles established by innovative architect R. Buckminster Fuller and was the first application of geodesic engineering for a greenhouse. The St. Louis architecture firm of Murphy & Mackey developed plans for the facility with Garden director Frits W. Went, who coined the term, Climatron.
The dome is 70 feet high and 175 feet in diameter, permitting tall palm trees to tower majestically above the tropical vista of streams, waterfalls and 1,200 different species of exotic trees and plants. Temperature ranges from 64 to 74 degrees and average humidity is 85 percent.
Visitors can enjoy a sense of being in a jungle while making their way by orchids, passion flowers, hibiscus flowers, cycads and a number of endangered species. In 1976, the dome was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history.
The Garden, covering 79 acres, is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd, just south of Hwy 44 between Vandeventer and Grand. Extended summer hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays only from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Free parking on premises, as well as an extensive gift shop and restaurant with patio dining. For more information, call the GardenLine at 314-577-9400 or 800-642-8842.
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