Annual Japanese Children’s Day Festival offers unique family day out

Try your luck in the traditional watermelon smashing competition.

THE annual Japanese Children’s Day Festival returns to the Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens on Sunday 5 May from 9am to 3pm.

Usually attracting a crowd of more than 4500 people, the event has been running for many years and offers a great day out for children and their families.

Held at the oval adjacent to the Japanese gardens and lake, the festival is run by the Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour and is generously sponsored by the City of Coffs Harbour Council, who provide a substantial donation and equipment to ensure the success of the festival.

“The Japanese Children’s Day Festival is a popular event in Japan to honour our children and celebrate their journey through life,” said John Vickars, one of the organisers.

“The Coffs Harbour ‘Sister City’ in Japan, Sasebo, some years ago kindly donated many Koinobori Kite flags to be flown on the day, the same as they are in Japan, which creates a very spectacular welcome on entering the festival.

“This year we are fortunate to have secured the world-famous Byron Taiko drummers and musicians who will be performing throughout the day and also conducting a workshop for children to participate.

“The Diamond Martial Arts academy will be showing off their skills and there will also be fully suited Samurai warriors in authentic armour available for exciting photo opportunities.”

Troppo Bob, a well-known conjurer and travelling magician, will be in attendance all day to enthral children with his bag of tricks.

A wide array of traditional Japanese food will be available all day.

Also on offer is the chance to try kite making and flying, or calligraphy, while a range of goods are on sale, including Bonsai trees.

The giant Takashi’s castle will keep children entertained and Wholechild Early Learning centre will be offering face painting and running the traditional watermelon smashing competition.

Volunteers from LJ Hooker assist with running the festival and bring along ‘Mr LJ Hooker Bear’ to meet the children.

“See you there for a great day out!” John said.

For more information call John Vickars on 0428 380 201.

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