Phoenix/ Arts & Culture
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Published on February 26, 2024
Phoenix Celebrates Japanese Culture with 40th Annual Arizona MatsuriSource: Facebook/Arizona Matsuri

Phoenix's Steele Indian School Park was abuzz this weekend as throngs of locals and visitors descended upon the 40th annual Arizona Matsuri. The festival, devoted to celebrating Japanese culture, offered an array of authentic cuisine, performances, and shopping, according to AZFamily.com.

The festivities included everything from taiko drumming to martial arts displays and even a cosplay contest, with the booming sounds of taiko drums providing a rhythmic soundtrack for the attendees navigating the myriad of booths lined up along the park's pathways. As reported by the Phoenix New Times, 57 vendors offered their goods, ranging from anime merch to traditional Japanese snacks, whereas over 30 food vendors served up popular dishes like ramen and sushi.

Local Chandler resident Arella Bailey, a ten-year veteran of the festival, told AZFamily.com, “If you like Japanese culture or anything like that, this is definitely the best place to come cause it’s free, and it’s every single year,”

The festivalgoers were treated at the park's north and south sides to a diverse selection of Asian cuisine. Ranging from steamed buns to mochi donuts, they had options to satisfy their cravings, AZFamily.com highlighted. A couple who has held a booth for the past 13 years, Jason Ponggasan and Patty Variboa, recently moved their business Fat Rabbit Farm to the Valley, indicative of the event's growing reputation as a mainstay of local culture and community.

For more information about the event's offerings and logistics, visit Phoenix New Times.