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Bon Festival 2012 at Morikami: More Food, Fewer People

The Bon Festival returns to the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Saturday, August 18. An homage to the traditional obon festival in Japan, it's a tradition meant to remember and honor one's ancestors. The highlight of the festival is the sight of hundreds of paper lanterns that will be lit and set to float on Morikami Lake.

It's so beautiful, in fact, that the weight of its own popularity was crushing it. Around 9,000 guests came through the front gates of Morikami last year, and frankly, that was simply too many people for comfort.

This year the organizers have limited the ticket sales and they will

only be sold online, not at the gate. So, if you went last year and were

put off by the overwhelming crowd, don't worry about it this time.


only will you enjoy fewer people, this year there will also be more to

eat. At the Ennichi Street Fair, meant to replicate an authentic

Japanese street fair, there will be traditional foods that you'd find at

any authentic street fair in Japan; roasted corn, popcorn, shaved ice,

cotton candy, candy apples, fried noodles and chocolate covered bananas.

The street fair will also be populated by number of vendors hawking

their wares from O.K.O Bonsai to the Orchid Tea Room.

Bon Odori

or the traditional Bon Dance will be performed on the Yagura Stage at

4:45, 5:45, and 7:15 p.m. and the Taiko Drum Performance by Fushu Daiko

and featuring students from South Florida Taiko Dojo will take place at

5, 6:30, and 8 p.m.

Also new this year will be an interactive

explanation -- with prizes -- of the history and tradition of the obon

festival at 4:30, 5:30, 6, 7, and 7:30 p.m. on the Matsuri Stage with

the museum's educational staff.

The big event of the evening, of

course, will be the floating of lit paper lanterns on Morikami Lake.

This will take place at 8:30 p.m. followed by the fireworks display at 9


Tickets can only be purchased online at

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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