The Texan Stars
Washington D.C. April 1985
Last Saturday, April 10, 2010, one of Washington D.C.'s most exciting traditions was held - the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade! The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the City of Washington, honoring the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. On March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two trees from Japan! In 1915 the United States government gave flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. In 1965 Texas' own First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, accepted 3,000 more trees, and in 1981 the cycle of giving came full circle when Japanese horticulturists were given cuttings from our trees to replace some cherry trees in Japan that had been destroyed in a flood!
On April 13, 1985 our own Texan Stars dance team represented the state of Texas and Tarleton and marched in the Cherry Blossom Parade! Fourteen members of the Texan Stars marched the one-mile stretch down Pennsylavnia Avenue in front of several hundred thousand spectators! The parade included almost 400 entries and was led by Grand Marshall Ed McMahon!
The Stars' first day in Washington was spent sightseeing and shopping! Their Purple Pride stood out in the crowd - they were wearing purple blazers! They even caught the attention of Arlene Francis, who was on location at the Jefferson Memorial for a taping of "Life and Times"! She was also dressed in "Tarleton" purple and visited with the girls and had her picture made with them!
The trip to Washington and marching in the Cherry Blossom Parade was the fulfillment of a dream and the culmination of years of hard work! Their sponsor, and former Texan Star, Penny Wright, is currently instructor of kinesology here.
This national annual event is symbolic of April events held all over the United States! April is Keep America Beautiful Month and National Garden Month! Earth Day is April 22, 2010, and Arbor Day is April 30, 2010! April is truly the month for promoting "America the Beautiful"! Check out the library displays in celebration of April!
J-TAC, April 18, 1985.
National Cherry Blossom Festival website: http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org .