Cherry blossoms bloom in Greenport for the return of the...

Cherry blossoms bloom in Greenport for the return of the annual festival. Credit: Randee Daddona

The season of frothy pink and white cherry blossoms bursting out all over Long Island has arrived. This weekend, two fun-filled family festivals will give exuberant welcomes to these flowering trees with food, drink, cultural performances, hands-on crafts and even a bit of dress-up.

The monthlong Greenport Cherry Blossom Petal Tour launches April 20 at Third Street Park starting at 9 a.m. with the Run for the Petals 5K. “The route takes you through some of our most iconic blossoms,” says 5K event organizer Nicki Gohorel.

While the runners (and walkers) wind around Greenport Village’s one square mile lined with flowering trees, the party in the park starts, with tissue blossom crafts for children. After the award ceremony (around 11 a.m.) Kabuki dancer Junko Fisher will perform traditional Japanese dances.


Planning your visit

  • Festival runs April 20 through Mother's Day
  • Follow the map to locate blooms throughout Greenport
  • Visit more than a dozen participating businesses for blossom treats and deals 

AgroCouncil, the not-for-profit that spearheads the Petal Tour, will distribute a self-guided walking tour map of the more than 300 flowering trees (and their species) plus the locations of 25 plus participating businesses. At noon, visitors will head downtown to wander the village, admiring the blooms, but also getting deals on cherry blossom-themed events and items.

“What’s different this year is that we have made the launch day much more interactive with local vendors and artists,” says AgroCouncil founder Deborah Pittorino.

A cherry blossom trail can be followed in April and...

A cherry blossom trail can be followed in April and May in Greenport. Credit: Randee Daddona

Among the launch-day-only activities will be chalk artist Kara Hoblin of North Fork Art Collective creating a cherry blossom design in real time at the collective’s gallery in the historic 1858 Fiedler Gallery building (noon to 5 p.m.; 207 Main St.). On display at the gallery throughout the festival — which runs through Mother’s Day — is “Just Pink,” a Barbie-worthy rosy-hued exhibition of local artists’ work (items range from $20-$20,000).

Visitors can create their own blooming cherry tree painting at VEME art bar (214 Front St.; from 6 to 8 p.m. April 20, when artists and co-owners Verona Peñalba and Melissa Gabrielsen lead a special painting workshop.

“We will teach color theory and how to mix the desired colors to have a finished product that they are proud of,” says Peñalba. “We want people to express their own creativity. It’s not as intimidating as it looks.” Space is limited and attendees must register ahead on the website ($75; all materials included).


Several businesses are offering launch day deals for their cherry blossom specials.

The Sakura latte will be available at Aldo's Coffee Company through...

The Sakura latte will be available at Aldo's Coffee Company through April during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Greenport.  Credit: Aldo's Coffee Company

  • Terra at the Greenporter Hotel (326 Front St.; 631-477-0181) created “Dreaming in Pink,” a refreshing tequila and Aperol cocktail, for the festival. The drink, normally $16, will be $8 during launch weekend.
  • Aldo’s Coffee Company’s (103-105 Front St.; 631-707-8059) Sakura (Japanese for blossoming cherry) latte, combining sakura powder, vanilla syrup and frothy milk, will be $3.50 on launch day and $5.50 thereafter. Make it a Dirty Sakura with a shot of espresso ($2).
  • Even your hair can get into the act: Craft Hair (213 E. Front St.; 631- 477-6167) is offering replenishing and restorative treatments with Milbon products from Japan, normally $75, at $55 during launch weekend.


Those who can’t make it on launch day can use the Cherry Blossom Petal Tour map through May 12 to locate the trees and participating businesses. Maps are available at AgroCouncil’s office on the way into town (68320 Main Rd.; 631-500-0850) or by downloading at You can register for the 5K (preregistration $30, including commemorative T-shirt; day of registration $35; T-shirts $20) at

Proceeds from the Petal Run and the merchant donations for the map benefit the Greenport Village Tree Committee, which plants and maintains all the curbside trees, and the Business Improvement Committee.

Blooms in Stony Brook

Celebrating cherry blossoms means celebrating all things Japanese at Stony Brook University’s Wang Center. Rooted in the Wang’s 40 spectacular Kwanzan cherry trees, Sakura Matsuri, a one-day, rain-or-shine event, now in its 24th year, features free and paid events for the whole family on April 21 from noon to 5 p.m.

“Some people bring their easels and paint the trees,” says director of Asian Art and Culture Jinyoung Jin. Performances include SBU’s Taiko Tides drummers, Ryu Shu Kan Karate & Kobudo demonstrating Okinawan weapons, and grandmaster Daniel Nyohaku Soergel playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute). In addition to a Japanese tea ceremony and calligraphy demonstrations, new this year are bonsai workshops where participants will learn to start their own miniature tree and will take one home.

Cosplay has become a big part of the festival, with attendees dressing as their favorite manga characters. And for sustenance, Japanese snacks and food will be available for purchase in the dining hall.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ($30 general admission; $10 ages 6-12).


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