Cherry Blossom Festival 2023
APRIL 1 - 16, 2023
The festive highlight of the Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival is Bloomfest, a day of live performances and attractions in Branch Brook Park. Bloom Fest is held in Essex County Branch Brook Park, Cherry Blossom Welcome Center Extension, Belleville/Newark. Bloomfest attracts over 7,000 attendees from New Jersey and surrounding metropolitan areas for stage performances, cultural demonstrations, and children’s activities.
Enjoy a family day in New Jersey's pinkest park! A packed schedule of events includes Japanese cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food, and more. See below for the list of fun-filled festivities.
This Year's Bloomfest
Sunday, April 16th, 11 AM – 5 PM
Oval, Northern Division and Concert Grove, Southern Division
Enjoy a family day in the pink park! A packed schedule of events includes cultural demonstrations, children's activities, live music, a crafter's marketplace, food, and more at the Cherry Blossom Welcome Center. Additional musical performances will be held at the Prudential Concert Grove. Admission is free; food and merchandise will be for sale. Bloomfest will be one to enjoy.
Annual Challenge Bike Race -
Saturday, April 1st, 7 AM – 1 PM – Oval, Northern Division
Race through Branch Brook Park in the Cherry Blossom Challenge, a competitive New Jersey tradition, or cheer on the cyclists while enjoying a day in the fresh, spring air. It’s free to enter the park and watch. The Cherry Blossom Challenge Bike Race will be held as follows:
Cherry Blossom 10K Run
Saturday, April 2nd, 10 AM – 12 PM – Cherry Blossom Welcome Center, Extension Division
Run through the historic cherry tree groves in this race that is sanctioned by the USATF and is the Women’s Master’s Championship race. A portion of the race proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. It’s free to enter the park and watch. Gear up for next year's 10 K Run.
1-Mile Fun Run and Walk
Saturday, April 15th, 10 AM – 11 AM – Concert Grove, Southern Division
Celebrate the arrival of spring and get fit with your family or friends. Children are encouraged to run individually or as a member of a school team. Schools and groups must register in advance This is a free event. All participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt. Look out for Fun Run and Walk.
Essex County Family Day
Saturday, April 15th
11 AM – 3 PM, Concert Grove, Southern Division
The public is encouraged to come out and enjoy an afternoon of family fun with a variety of events including live performances, children’s activities, a fishing derby, and more. Bring your own picnic lunch or purchase food from vendors who will be on-site and enjoy the picturesque views overlooking the lake. Admission is free but food and other merchandise will be for sale.
This year’s virtual festival includes the following events:
- Musical performers and cultural presentations regularly enjoyed during Bloomfest will be presented on the Essex County Parks System’s Facebook (@essexcountyparks) and Instagram (@essxparks) platforms. Daily videos will present a wide variety of content including historic facts and talks from Branch Brook Park, kid-friendly origami crafts, cultural demonstrations from past Bloomfest presenters, and live performances.
- Those who cannot visit the park can view the status of the bloom season on new panoramic cameras set up in the park. These cameras will bring the cherry blossom season onto the screens in real-time on essexcountyparks.org so that residents and visitors can witness the breathtaking vistas.
Historic Tours by Cell Phone
Available ALL Season
This free, self-guided historic walking tour can be accessed by cell phone or smartphone. Spend the day exploring all 72 tour stops or pick and choose your favorites. One call to 973-433-9047 or a scan of the bar code at each tour stop unlocks a world of park history and horticultural information.
History, driving directions, a complete list of activities, and a webcam where the public can monitor the cherry trees for the peak of the bloom season can be accessed by visiting www.essexcountynj.org and clicking on the Cherry Blossom link. More information can also be obtained by calling 973-433-9047.
The Essex County Cherry Blossom Festival is hosted by the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs. It is sponsored by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ.