Kite Festival

Published on April 4th, 2017 | by ssca


Cherry Blossom Kite & Piñata Festival 2017

The Springfield Sister Cities Association and Friends of the Garden host the annual Cherry Blossom Kite and Piñata Festival Saturday, April 22, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.

This family-friendly free event highlights Springfield’s Sister City relationship with Isesaki, Japan and Tlaquepaque, Mexico. Kids and adults are invited to fly kites in the park as wll as take part in kite building and decorating, piñatas, face painting, chopsticks instruction, origami and other Japanese and Mexican crafts and games. All activities are free except kite building — kite kits cost $5. Performances during the festival feature Uke 66 ukulele group, Marimba Caliente and Kizuna Japan American Friendship Club, which will lead interactive folk dancing. Performances and activities take place at the new Peace Through People Pavilion, with kite flying on the Great Lawn.

As part of the festival, admission to the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, usually $3, is free the all day April 22.

Immediately following the festival, everyone is invited to a free 3-5 p.m. concert featuring Mariachi Viva Xalisco, and special guest, Paco Padilla, all visiting from Tlaquepaque. The concert serves as the dedication for the Peace Through People Pavilion, which was completed last fall.

At about 4 p.m., as the band takes a break, the Springfield Sister Cities Association and Friends of the Garden will unveil a new sculpture near the pavilion by Tlaquepaque-based sculptor Rodo Padilla. The sculpture, titled “Amigos,” features bronze spheres with happy smiles atop a black ceramic-covered body that serves as a reclining park bench.  Part of the sculpture wraps around a dogwood tree, planted as part of the installation.

“The sculpture comes to life expressing a true relationship of friendship and peace between people and their God-given environment,” Rodo Padilla wrote in a statement about the piece, translated from Spanish. Rodo Padilla, brother to Paco Padilla, will also be in attendance for the event.

Construction of the Peace Through People Pavilion and commission of the sculpture were funded entirely by private donations through the Springfield Sister Cities Association and Friends of the Garden. Read more about the pavilion at

The Cherry Blossom Kite and Piñata Festival, and the dedication concert, are made possible through a partnership between the Springfield Sister Cities Association, Friends of the Garden, the Springfield Regional Arts Council, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, Kickapoo High School Japanese Language Club and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.



About the Author

Springfield Sister Cities Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people of the City of Springfield and people of similar cities in foreign nations acquire a consciousness of each other and to understand one another as individuals, as members of their community, and as part of our global community.

4 Responses to Cherry Blossom Kite & Piñata Festival 2017

  1. Tabbitha says:

    What if it rains?

  2. Paul says:

    What if it rains. Will it be the next day?

  3. Susan Smith says:

    Wondering if it’s cancelled due to weather?

  4. Jennifer Bartholomew says:

    Also wondering if this will be rescheduled for better weather.

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  • Upcoming events

    September 8–10, 2017
    Annual Japanese Fall Festival

    in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden
    at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park
    2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield, MO

    Friday, September 8th
    Gates Open 5:00 p.m.
    $10 Adult / $3 children 12 yrs. & under
    • Uke 66
    • Mr. Hiroshi Tada performance “top spinning.”
    • Kizuna – Springfield’s Japan America Friendship
    Group will be performing traditional festival dance
    on stage. Everyone is invited to participate!
    • 6:00 Opening Ceremony at the stage
    • 6:15 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    • 6:30 Seiran Chiba – large scale calligraphy
    • 6:45 Karin Amano – Japanese story teller
    • 7:10 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    Candlelight walk begins at dusk

    Saturday, September 9th
    Gates open 11:00 a.m.
    $15 Adult / $3 children 12 yrs. & under
    • Mr. Hiroshi Tada performance “top-spinning.”
    • 11:15 Springfield Cosplay
    • 11:45 Kimono show
    • 12:00 Uke 66
    • 1:00 Seiran Chiba – large scale calligraphy
    • 1:30 Karin Amano – Japanese Story Teller
    • 2:00 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    (Children’s workshop follows the performance)
    • 3:15 Tracy’s Karate
    • 4:30 Seiran Chiba- large scale calligraphy
    • 5:00 Kizuna – Japanese folk dance
    • 5:30 St. Louise Osuwa Taiko
    • 6:30 Karin Amano
    • 7:00 Shoji Tabuchi Live!
    Candlelight walk begins at dusk

    Sunday, September 10th
    Gates open 11:00 a.m.
    $10 Adult / $3 children 12 yrs. & under
    • Mr. Hiroshi Tada performance “top-spinning.”
    • 1:00 Uke 66
    • 1:30 Karin Amano – Japanese Story Teller
    • 2:00 St. Louis Osuwa Taiko
    • 3:00 Seiran Chiba – large scale calligraphy
    • 3:30 Tracy’s Karate
    • 4:15 Kizuna – Japanese folk dance
    • 4:45 Cosplay parade on stage
    Festival ends on Sunday at 6 p.m

    Taste of Tlaquepaque
    Friday, October 13th
    Celebrate with Springfield Sister Cities and our friends from Tlaquepaque at Oasis Convention Center
    6:00—7:00 p.m. Cocktails
    7:00 p.m. Dinner and Music by Enrique, Manuel, Paco, Fernando and German!
    Individual Tickets $150
    Table of 8 = $1000 (Sponsorships available)
    call 417-864-1341
    or email

    October 22, 2017
    Americana Concert Series at the Peace Through People Pavilion. Details to be announced soon.

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