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Vancouver Cherry Blossom festival begins tomorrow

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Vancouver is at its most beautiful when the cherry trees are in bloom, but the moment to appreciate their beauty is a fleeting window in time.

Wendy Cutler shares her knowledge of cherry trees
Wendy Cutler shares her knowledge of cherry trees

Luckily, the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival was perfectly coordinated by organizers to align with the magical bloom. Founding director of the VCBF Linda Poole said now is the time get out there.

“The weather’s been fabulous, the cherries are perfect, but the next few days are rain and it affects how long they last . . . Just do it now, don’t wait. As soon as it’s nice go see them,” Poole said.

Of the many events taking place during the festival, Thursday’s Cherry Jam is the big show on everyone’s mind.  The free concert will take place amid the cherry trees, wich are in full bloom right now, at Burrard SkyTrain station.

Folk singer Michael Averill is looking forward to performing Take the Time, a song written by his father. Averill said the theme of the song suits the idea behind the VCBF perfectly.

“The reason I’m doing this is it’s a big tribute to my father who was a singer songwriter in the 70’s . . . Take the Time is really just literally as it says, even just to stop and smell the roses so to speak . . . telling the friends and family in your life how much you appreciate them,” Averill said. The Cherry Jam starts at noon Thursday, April 3.

Wendy Cutler coordinates the efforts of the cherry scouts who start tracking the blooms across the city and map locations that are currently in bloom for everyone to enjoy.

“The Cherry scouts are set-up to go out and find the cherry trees. When we started we had a list of about 150 trees and now on our map we have 1300 locations,” Cutler said.

Cutler will be leading two free educational walks during the festival sharing her extensive knowledge of cherry trees, including the misconception that plum trees are cherry blossoms.

“We have at least 12,000 street tree plums in the city and they’re what’s been blooming for the last week or two. They’re kind of round and the blossoms hang singly from the branch . . .cherries all hang in bunches,” Cutler said.

Reported by Ash Kelly

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