By Peggy Taylor
The second annual Japan Day Parade will be held on Saturday, May 13th at 1:00 p.m. along Central Park West from 81st to 67th Streets, following the opening ceremony at 12:30 p.m. between 70th and 71st Streets.
As singers, dancers, anime characters, martial arts aficionados and sword fighters slice and slash their way down the route, they will pass 72nd Street where a street fair featuring Japanese cuisine, calligraphy, water balloon yo-yo fishing, and origami, will be in full swing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This year’s Grand Marshal will be Olympic gold medalist, author, and philanthropist Kristie Yamaguchi whose foundation, Always Dream, provides high quality books for low-income families. This year’s parade will feature a live performance by the cast of the 2.5-Dimensional show, “Live Spectacle NARUTO,” the stage adaptation of one of the most popular manga (Japanese comics) series of all time.
The following streets on the Upper West Side will be closed from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the discretion of the NYPD.
Formation [of parade]:
- Central Park West between 86th Street and 81st Street
- 85th Street – 81st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
- Central Park West between 81st Street and 66th Street
- Central Park West between 68th Street and 67th Street
- 69 – 67th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
- 71st Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
- 72nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue
I went to the first Japan Day parade last year and it was delightful. I was tickled to hear the final band– Japanese violinists –playing “76 Trombones” from The Music Man. I am still smiling.