NEW YORK – Thousands gathered Saturday for Manhattan’s first ever Japan Parade.
As CBS2’s Thalia Perez reports, organizers say the event also showed solidarity for other Asian nations as it celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The celebration of Japanese culture stepped off on Central Park West, marching from West 81st Street to 68th.
The parade was led by none other than George Takei, famous for his role as Sulu on “Star Trek.” Takei served as grand marshal for the parade.
“America is a great country. Japan is a great country,” Takei said. “Look at all of these people celebrating a Japan parade together. All the diversity of America. It’s a glorious day.”
There was music, dance and celebration. The display of Japanese culture was brought to New Yorkers by the nonprofit Japan Day Inc.
“Oh, it was lovely. And looking around, and the people did a wonderful job,” one paradegoer said.
One reveler celebrated Japanese culture with clothing he designed himself.
“I went to Japan to study Japanese art, the tea ceremony so it was a great opportunity to come celebrate it in New York,” he said.
The first original date of the parade was canceled due to the pandemic, so many said they were excited that they were finally able to celebrate, two years later.