Before the skies opened and rained out the festivities, there was a huge gathering at the Kissimmee Lakefront Park on Sunday, November 4, for the 18th Annual Orlando Japan Festival. The event opened with a lively performance of 100 Taiko drummers. There were several music and martial arts performances throughout the day on the main stage, surrounded by vendors selling everything from manga to okonomiyaki. A main attraction was visiting Shodo artist Mr. Yasunori Kimatawe who painted two giant canvases live for the audience.
Our Florida JETAA tent was a hit for families who stopped by to play Daruma Otoshi (very difficult), Plinko and ring toss. We also received lots of interest about the Jet Program from several young adults and some parents. Thank you to the genki volunteers Gabby Martin, Shannon Rachelle and Jen Vanegas who helped FLJETAA board members Hartley Haft and Dolly Sanborn by sharing about their JET experience with the tent visitors, facilitating the kids games, passing out prizes and assisting with set up and then break down in the pouring rain. It all couldn’t have been done without you!