Cherry Blossom Festival Seeks Donations For Japan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Organizers of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington are urging people to donate to the American Red Cross for earthquake relief efforts in Japan ahead of the festival that honors U.S.-Japanese relations.

Festival spokeswoman Danielle Piacente says they are working on plans to recognize the tsunami tragedy during the festival, which runs March 26 to April 10. Organizers do not expect to have to replace any performers traveling from Japan.

The popular Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival on April 9 is bringing about 50 people from the Tokyo region to perform in Washington.

John Malott, president of the Japan-America Society of Washington, which stages the street festival, says the group will ask for donations for relief efforts during the event.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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