The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival has gone digital for 2020. Here are three ways you can enjoy one of Vancouver’s most beloved events from home.

cherry blossoms
Photo via VCBF website

Like many Vancouverites, I look forward to April because it means it’s time for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. (Yes, cherry blossoms are so beloved in Vancouver that we have an annual festival dedicated to the sakura trees. But physical distancing means the festival has also had to pivot to an online format. Because we all need to stay home.

Did you know? Many of Vancouver’s 43,000 cherry trees originated as gifts from Japan. The cherry blossom festival was created as a way to express gratitude and celebrate the beauty and joy they bring to everyone.

To give everyone their cherry blossom fix, the VCBF has switched up three of their most popular events so that Vancouverites can experience hanami (the Japanese word for cherry blossom viewing) while staying home.

cherry blossoms
Photo via VCBF website

Virtual Cherry Blossom Tree Walks

Virtual Tree Walks are now available on the VCBF website. I’ve been taking tree walks (meaning I go up and down the stairs of our four-level home while I click through the slideshows) on my lunch break and it’s definitely lifted my spirits.

If you miss visiting Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, take a digital walk amongst the blossoms while sipping on a brew from that same area. Strathcona-area breweries offering currently offering delivery include:

How’s this for a perfect pairing?

Strange Fellows Brewing just launched a special beer called Hedgerow Sour Cherry Wild Ale. It was brewed with Balaton Cherries and spent over a year in a French oak foudre. The result is a rich, soft and sour beer with strong and concentrated cherry character.

Online Cherry Jam Concerts

Cherry Jam concerts are a big part of VCBF, and the festival will be airing online performances on social media. Be sure to check here for details and follow them on social media.

The Big (Virtual) Picnic

Every year, more than 3,000 people from all over come together to share in the beauty of the blossoms and experience why “there are no strangers under the cherry tree.” This year’s event  has been cancelled, but festival organizers are bringing the performances to Vancoverites online! Make sure to follow them on social media for updates.

And you can still have a cherry blossom-themed picnic this Easter long weekend—at home with your Strange Fellows sour cherry wild ale. Using what you have at home to transform your backyard, balcony or living room into a creative picnic space. Make it fun with blossom themed activities and plan a pink menu.

Some menu suggestions to go with your picnic beers:

My guy doesn’t know it yet, but we are eating pink this weekend!

We’d love for you to share your home picnic with us and the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival on social—tag us @bcaletrail and @vancherryblossomest on Instagram and use the hashtag #TheBigPicnic.

The more we do today, the sooner we can all explore BC again. For more information about COVID-19, please refer to these government resources.

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