A parade dedicated to Japanese culture is returning to New York City for its third year. On Saturday, May 11, the Japan Parade kicks off at 1 p.m. on Central Park West and West 81st Street and heads south to 68th Street. The parade will feature live music, martial arts, traditional dance and drum performances, appearances by prominent Japanese organizations, and more.

Shingo Kunieda, wheelchair tennis superstar and four-time Paralympic gold medalist, will serve as this year’s grand marshal. Considered by many to be the best wheelchair tennis player in history, Kunieda is a seven-time International Tennis Federation World Champion, the first wheelchair tennis player to earn a Grand Slam, and the first male wheelchair tennis player to achieve a “Career Grand Slam,” which is when a player wins each of the four major championships.

“I am very honored to serve as Grand Marshal of the Japan Parade, and I’m delighted to be involved in this opportunity to promote Japanese culture,” Kunieda said in a statement. “I look forward to marching in the parade with all of you.”

New Yorkers will also be able to indulge in a wide variety of Japanese cuisine on Saturday during a street fair. On 72nd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, the fair, running 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will offer over two dozen food vendors and activities like calligraphy and origami.

Originally scheduled for 2020 to coincide with the 160th anniversary of the first visit by Japanese delegates to the U.S. and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the inaugural Japan Parade was delayed due to the pandemic. The parade’s mission is to celebrate and shine a spotlight on the deep friendship between NYC and Japan.

The first parade took place in May 2022, falling on the 150th anniversary of the Japanese Consulate’s foundation in New York. “Star Trek” actor and best-selling author George Takei served as the parade’s inaugural grand marshal.


Get Insider Updates with Our Newsletter!

Source link