El Camino hosts 16th annual Cherry Blossom Festival

Musicians+from+the+Taiko+Center+of+Los+Angeles++perform+a+two+song+set+at+the+Cherry+Blossom+Festival+on+Thursday%2C+March+31.+Photo+credit%3A+Brandon+Park

Musicians from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles perform a two song set at the Cherry Blossom Festival on Thursday, March 31. Photo credit: Brandon Park

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From left: Natalie Swain, 29, jewelry design, Evelyn Clemente, 24, illustration, Francisco Martin, 21, art and Madison Gillespie, 20, art welcome guests at the 16th annual Cherry Blossom Festival on Thursday, March 31. Natalie handmade the centerpiece (pictured) using paper cherry blossoms with real branches. Photo credit: Sue Hong

The 16th annual Cherry Blossom Festival was hosted on the Library Lawn on March 31.

The event is not only a celebration of cherry blossoms or the spring season itself, but also a memorial for the festival’s founder, Nadine Ishitani Hata, former vice president of academic affairs, who died in 2005.

Donald Hata, the honored guest of the festival and husband of Hata, spoke about the life of his late wife and how she was instrumental in bringing the cherry blossom trees to El Camino 16 years ago.

“The cherry blossom trees is a symbol of hope. A hope that students can look to a better future,” Hata said.

The event is usually hosted in between the Shops and Communications buildings, but due to construction was relocated to the Library Lawn.

The event had authentic Japanese food, students recited their original haikus and performers from the Taiko Center of Los Angeles conducted two taiko drum performances.

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Traditional Japanese treats such as mochi (pictured here) were served at the Cherry Blossom Festival on Thursday, March 31. Photo credit: Sue Hong

This event is open to the public and hosted every spring semester.