Many years ago when living on the Upper West Side and running errands for my elderly neighbor, Rita, she would greet me with her thick New York accent, “I love ya like a parade!” It became a term of endearment for me. Speaking of parades, the second annual Japan Parade is this month. It’s offered as a huge thank you from the country to our beloved city in America. A line-up of floats, costumes, culture, performers and family fun is guaranteed.
Kristi Yamaguchi is a 2-time world champion figure skater who captured the gold medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics. She also garnered the mirror ball trophy with dance partner Mark Ballas on “Dancing With The Stars.” Chosen as this year’s Grand Marshal, Yamaguchi said, “My Japanese heritage is something I’m proud of and I’m happy to celebrate the goodwill of our relationship with Japan and the engagement and solidarity with the Japanese American community.”
The festivities also include the Japan Street Fair. Vendors will line 72nd Street from Columbus Avenue to Central Park West. Attendees will be able to sample traditional and new fusion cuisine, purchase arts and crafts, play games and learn more about the eastern culture.
We city dwellers appreciated the Japanese gesture of thanks and remember the expression of my dear neighbor Rita, “I love ya like a parade!”
Opening Ceremony starts at 12:30 p.m.
Location: Central Park West between 70th street and 71st street (Grandstand Area).
Japan Parade starts at 1:00 p.m.
Japan Street Fair
10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
72 Street between Columbus Ave. and Central Park West.
Photo Credits: Japan fez, Japan Parade.