What’s New at Obon 2012

Last year we saw our biggest Obon ever. In just five hours, we welcomed almost 9,000 people.  The overwhelming popularity of our once-small event brought with it long lines, large crowds, barely enough parking spaces, and difficulty for guests and staff alike in navigating Morikami grounds.   While still a magical and unforgettable evening, this year we want to offer you an experience that’s more intimate, enjoyable, and just as exciting.  Lucky for us, you told us you want the same thing.  In the words of one visitor, “Perhaps it would be a good idea to limit the amount of people so that everyone can enjoy the festival and all it has to offer?”   We couldn’t agree more.

This year, for the first time, we are limiting admission to Bon Festival, coming up Saturday, August 18.  In years past, we offered tickets online and at the gate.  This year, tickets will only be available online through our Bon Festival event page.  This way, we can ensure a breezy festival-entry experience for all our ticketed guests.  Everyone at Obon gets to skip the line this year.  As always, Morikami members get in free, and do not need to reserve their tickets in advance.  Are you a member but unsure if your membership level covers your Bon Festival guests?  Email morikamimembers@pbcgov.org – we’re here to help!

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, June 1 and are expected to sell out.  We strongly encourage you to buy your tickets before August 1.  In fact, we’re giving away exclusive Obon Experience packages to five lucky winners who purchase their tickets before then.  Expect yours to include Obon staples – fans, water, Japanese snacks – and a few things a little harder to come by, like a VIP parking pass and Morikami membership.*

In Japan, travel spikes in July and August as families reunite to spend Obon together.  We want to preserve the tradition of remembrance and celebration at our own version of Obon.  We feel confident that by improving your individual festival experience, we can keep this spirit intact for years and years to come.  We can’t wait to share the 35th annual Bon Festival with you!

 *Complete Obon Experience package includes a Morikami tote bag, fans, water, snacks, $25 worth of food & beverage tickets, one lantern sleeve, one VIP parking pass, one Morikami dual membership, a commemorative Morikami 35th Anniversary keychain, a $20 Museum Store gift certificate, two coupons for Yo-Yo Balloons, two fast-track gallery admission passes, two VIP taiko performance seats.  The Obon Experience package is NOT available for purchase.

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