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Cherry Blossoms' Fleeting Beauty At Heart Of Brooklyn Botanic Garden Festival

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The colors of spring are blossoming this weekend at Sakura Matsuri, Brooklyn Botanic Garden's annual celebration of cherry blossoms, Japanese culture. NY1's Natasha Ghoneim filed the following report.

Strolling beneath this canopy of pink and white cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a reaffirmation that spring has arrived.

"The beauty and the atmosphere is very nice, the plants, the growing flowers are very nice," said a visitor.

The Japanese call the celebration of the cherry blossoms hanami. This weekend, people are celebrating the season at the 32nd annual Sakura Matsuri festival at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It's touted as the country's "largest event in a public garden."

"There's a sense of being in the moment, appreciating life and spring from the beginning of the blossoms to the end, when we have what we call a 'cherry blossom carpet' on the ground, when the blossoms come fluttering down," said Kathryn Glass of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The two-day festival spotlights traditional Japanese culture, such as samurai performance.

"Intensity and also fun stuff. We have both very serious moments and fun moments and you can enjoy it," said Yoshi Amao, a master of ceremonies.

There's also contemporary Japanese culture, like "cosplay," or dressing up as an anime character and drawing manga comics.

"This is my third year and I always have such a great time. I love the people and it's just a lot of fun to come," said a costumed participant.

"I like drawing and they have manga and anime and music and plenty of seats," said a child.

But more than 200 flowering cherry trees put on the best performance.

"It feels great. There's a great energy here out here. People are having a good time and it's just very pleasant," said a visitor.

There is an upside to the city's long winter. It means a longer blooming period for 30 different species of flowering cherries. Depending on the weather, the blossoms could last about another two weeks.

Perhaps that is the allure of the cherry blossom -- its beauty can be enjoyed for a fleeting period of time each year.

Admission to Sakura Matsuri is $20 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and free for children under age 12. For a full schedule of events, visit bbg.org/sakuramatsuri.

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