The 2008 Cherry Blossom Festival was great fun this year! The weather was quite nice, albeit a bit windy and somewhat cold (especially for some of the Cosplayers), but it was sunny with clear skies! This year, I made it down to City Hall to catch the judging contest for the cosplay, and it was amazing. I heard some 199 contestants signed up this year versus ~130 last year, and like last year, another record turnout. It was amazing to see the creativity and dedication that cosplayers have in their art, it was like watching live action anime.
The Grand Parade was also a blast. The Grand Marshall was NASA astronaut Daniel Tani. Splendid floats by many local vendors and clubs. San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. Also in attendance was San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong.
The first, second, and third place winners of the Japan Video & Media Cosplay Contest were announced to a huge crowd. A special guest appearance by anime singer, Stephanie Yanez from Los Angeles performed with the Animemyu Sailor Moon group. Excellent event, I can’t wait until next year! For those who are interested, here is the Cosplay.com thread for the 2008 Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival. Thank you to Japan Video & Media for sponsoring the cosplay contest in it’s 11th year in a row.
Below are a few teaser pics, the rest of the pictures can be found on flickr.