A Golden Jubilee arrives with a number of hallmarks, depending upon just who or what is marking the 50th anniversary.
It might include a special dinner, or concert, or vacation, or in the case of a famous natural spread, a weekend full of music and art and eats and the joy of being outdoors in a peaceful, tree-rich setting.
That famous natural spread of note happens to be inside another famous natural spread, Descanso Gardens, an oak-filled oasis that fills a sizable 150 acres of prime La Cañada Flintridge land. And the area celebrating its big 50th? The bridge-beautiful, koi-lovely, cherry tree-terrific Japanese Garden.
The annual Japanese Garden Festival, then, will also be an anniversary party, one that will include the touchstones of the weekend-long festivity as well as a special exhibition of "art and artifacts" chosen for the auspicious occasion.
The dates? Pay regular admission and be a part of the party on Saturday, Oct. 15 and Sunday, Oct. 16.
The Kishin Daiko taiko drummers will make a percussively thrilling return in 2016, but there is a new sound element that shall be included in the entertainment: Japanese Imperial Court music. Dancer Kinnara Gagaku is slated to perform to this stirring set.
A gallery tour, a garden walk, and ikebana flower displays complete the schedule, one that includes both excitement (drums, of course) as well as the chance to interact with the garden as so many visitors do, in a reflective, contemplative fashion.
What to do, where to go and what to see
It's a treasure, the Japanese Garden at Descanso Gardens, as is its not-too-far-off neighbor, the Japanese Garden at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botantical Gardens, which marked a major anniversary a few years back: It's 100th, back in 2012.
To enjoy such venerable spots of greenery, design, history, and importance is a treat, and one that truly makes Southern California one of the vibrant centers for traditional Japanese gardens on this continent.