Welcome to the homepage for the 2020 Uptown Matsuri in Independence, Missouri. The festival this year is a reinvention of an annual spring event previously known as the Cherry Blossom Festival that has been conducted by the Japanese Sister City Committee for decades. For more background on the festival and the decision to hold it online, click here.

Good afternoon, everyone! I hope you have all had a good lunch. This was mine: a variation on the bento boxes that we had planned to sell at the festival this year. (rice, egg, carrot, celery, and sliced pickled daikon.)

Today would have been the day of the festival, and I couldn’t have hoped for better weather. Please step outside if you can and enjoy some spring sunshine. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the committee and all of our virtual attendees for hanging in there with us as we improvised this year! I’d also like to thank our vendors and contributors who were a tremendous help in keeping this rolling.

If you have the money to spare and are in the mood to shop, don’t forget that all of our vendors have online sales options. In scheduled order of appearance, they are:

Theresa Gallup with kimonodesigns.com

Emmi Murao, designer and crafter on etsy.

Build-Up Hobby and Import Don’t forget their inventory expansion gofundme if you have a few extra bucks!

Fusion Art Room

Game Cafe., who provided this update for us this afternoon! They’re doing free delivery within 30 miles on orders over $30, and they’ve set up a sale code for Uptown Matsuri shoppers. Use code “Cherry” at checkout to get a 10% discount and a 10% donation of profits to the Sister City Committee! (Thanks, Tom!)

There’s some lovely, handmade work available from our vendors, and some fantastic games and models to build.

I’d also like to thank our non-vendor participants this year: Lace Bunnies, Prismatic Dance Crew, and the outstanding group of young people that make up our 2021 student delegation. These folks contributed a lot of content, activities, and enthusiasm to the festival and were creative and wonderful to work with.

The festival website will remain up for at least the next several months, with all the links, activities, and learning available for you to browse at your convenience. Please take care of each other until we meet again next year!