Festival to Pay Homage to Art, Music and Cuisine of The Land of the Rising Sun
LAS VEGAS (September 9, 2019) – The 10th annual Aki Matsuri Japanese Festival will make its center-Strip debut on Saturday, Oct. 26 at The Park and New York-New York Hotel & Casino with an immersive all-day celebration of Japanese music, entertainment, art and cuisine.
Founded in 2010, Aki Matsuri is an annual festival honoring Japanese culture throughout the valley and has been operated by Las Vegas’ Japanese Festival Association of Nevada (JFAN) since 2017. This year’s event, presented by MGM Japan, is complimentary and open to guests of all ages.
“Hosting this wonderful celebration is an exciting way for us to share Japan’s vibrant culture with the local community as well as visitors from around the world,” said Brian Sandoval, MGM Resorts’ President of Global Gaming Development. “MGM Resorts and MGM Japan remain committed to celebrating the beauty of Japan through public art, entertainment and cuisine; and Aki Matsuri brings them all together in one incredible event.”
Throughout the day, guests will be invited to experience a curated selection of Japan’s many art forms including ikebana, the art of flower arrangement. Beautiful flower arrangements by master sensei Kika Shibata and her students will be displayed inside of New York-New York’s Staten Island Ballroom. Throughout the festival, attendees also will have the chance to create their own origami and Japanese calligraphy pieces during interactive lessons. Additionally, a kimono presentation will pay tribute to the iconic garment that has long been synonymous with Japanese fashion.
A variety of traditional street performers and contemporary entertainers will dazzle audiences at the Pepsi Stage on the south side of New York-New York’s Brooklyn Bridge while the energetic beats of Taiko drummers abound from just under The Park’s Bliss Dance sculpture. Guests also will be able to participate in interactive entertainment including haiku contests.
Local restaurants and food trucks will delight culinary enthusiasts with a selection of Japanese delicacies and cuisine for purchase throughout the day. Adults 21 and older may purchase Asahi Beer provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits or opt to sample a selection of hot and cold rice wine paired with bites in the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco’s sake tasting pavilion, located in the Liberty Loft at New York-New York.
The closing ceremony for the festival will begin at 8 p.m. with bon odori, a customary dance that expresses joy and honors the spirits of one’s ancestors.
About Aki Matsuri
Aki Matsuri was founded in 2010 by Japanese business and community leaders who wanted to boost awareness about the growing Japanese population in the Las Vegas valley, by adding Japanese cultural experiences to enrich our entire community’s quality of life. “Aki Matsuri” are the Japanese words for “fall festival,” and this event has been celebrated in the Las Vegas valley each October for nine years. The first Aki Matsuri took place at West Flamingo Park on Flamingo and Jones with a few local performers and food vendors. Now, with the help of MGM Resorts International, it has grown to an enormous event that features not only the local performers, but a wide variety of entertainers from Japan as well as a wide selection of food and general vendors from throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
About the Japanese Festival Association of Nevada (JFAN)
JFAN is grass roots founded, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with individuals dedicated to bringing Japanese culture to Nevada and providing opportunities for all members of the community to experience and learn about Japan. The popularity of the event attracted the attention of MGM Resorts International, the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles, and the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco. Gene Sugano is the current President of JFAN who coordinates the entertainment and has MC’d Aki Matsuri since 2011.
About MGM Japan
MGM Japan was founded in December 2014 by MGM Resorts International to seek entry into Japan’s integrated resort market, with offices in Osaka and Tokyo. MGM Resorts has announced an “Osaka First” strategy and is committed to Osaka’s initiative to build Asia’s best integrated resort.
MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is an S&P 500® global entertainment company with national and international locations featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM Resorts creates immersive, iconic experiences through its suite of Las Vegas-inspired brands. The MGM Resorts portfolio encompasses 30 unique hotel and destination gaming offerings including some of the most recognizable resort brands in the industry. Expanding throughout the U.S. and around the world, the company recently acquired the operations of Empire City Casino in New York and Hard Rock Rocksino in Ohio, which was rebranded as MGM Northfield Park. In 2018, MGM Resorts opened MGM Springfield in Massachusetts, MGM COTAI in Macau, and the first Bellagio-branded hotel in Shanghai. The 82,000 global employees of MGM Resorts are proud of their company for being recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies®.