Thursday, April 11, 2019

Very Large Crowds Expected For Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival Saturday April 13, Cherry Trees Starting To Blossom And They Are Spectacular - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service But E Train Running To RI, Both Tram Cabins Running, No Red Bus South Of The Tram

The Roosevelt Island Cherry Trees are starting to blossom and they are spectacular. (Click video full screen icon on bottom right for better view.)

According to the Cherry Blossom Facebook Page hosted by the FDR Four Freedoms Park (Four Freedoms) and Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) at least 13 Thousand people have said they will attend the Saturday April 13 Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom event and over 69 thousand are interested. This does not account for those attending not on Facebook. The event is presented by RIOC, Four Freedoms and the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA).

What will Roosevelt Island Transportation be like this Saturday, April 13, for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

A Roosevelt Island resident reported last Tuesday:

 ... from the MTA Weekender app. If I’m reading this correctly, no F trains will be stopping at Roosevelt Island this weekend (in either direction), coinciding with the Cherry Blossom festival! And maybe still only one tram running this weekend? What a disaster!
Not exactly. According to the MTA, there is no Roosevelt Island F Train Service but the E Train will be running on the F line providing Roosevelt Island service to and from Manhattan.

Also, the Twitterverse reports:

I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
Will both tram cabins be operating on Saturday for cherry blossom festival?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
Both tram cabins will be operating on Saturday.
RIOC issued this Advisory at 12 PM today:
Due to the Cherry Blossom Festival this Saturday, April 13th, there will be no vehicular traffic and no parking, no stopping, and no standing, starting Friday, April 12th at 7:00PM through Saturday, April 13th at 7:00PM, south of the Tram, including the following locations:
  • The entire Cornell Tech campus roadway.
  • North Loop Road at the rear of Sportspark (250 Main St).
  • In front of and opposite 250-281 Main St. (Sportspark & the R.I. Racquet Club)
  • West Roadway north, from Tramway Plaza to 475 Main Street, opposite the turnaround (southern end of Rivercross lawn). All traffic will be diverted to the East Roadway.
  • No Red Bus service south of the Tram Plaza.
Security Checkpoints:

There will be two event checkpoints, monitored by both the R.I. Public Safety Department and additional security officers to provide added coverage, located at the West Roadway (west of the Tram Plaza) entrance and at the junction of the North Loop and East Loop Roads (at the northeast end of the Cornell Tech campus). These checkpoints will open at 10 AM and be in place throughout the event day.

Bag Checks/Prohibited Items:

Soft bag checks will be made. Please see our list of prohibited items below.

Prohibited Items

NO Beach umbrellas, tents, or canopies

NO Grills or cooking

NO Fireworks, sharp objects, or weapons of any kind

NO Camera tripods or lighting equipment.

NO Portable audio systems or speakers.

NO Glass bottles

NO Smoking

NO Bullhorns or noise makers


F train subway service and both Tram cabins are expected to be in operation throughout the Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition, regular Ferry and MTA bus service will be available to and from Roosevelt Island. Please go to and/or for up to the minute schedules.

There will be no Roosevelt Island Red Bus service south of the Tram.

The above information can also be found at For any questions, please call 212-832-4540.

Thank you.
The advisory is incorrect in that there is no Roosevelt Island F train service but, as reported above, the E will be stopping at Roosevelt Island on the F Track line.

Below is the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival Schedule Of Events,

Join Four Freedoms State Park in celebrating the Roosevelt Island Community Cherry Blossom Festival featuring Traditional and Modern Japanese Performances and Cultural Fair, and special performances at the Park!

This event is free.

Music & Dance Performances

(subject to change)

12:30pm Opening Remarks

1:00pm Shamisen (Kicho Kai) Japanese String Ensemble

1:30pm Japanese classical Dance (IchiFuji-kai Dance Association)

2:05pm Koto (Masayo Ishigure and Koto Shamisen Ensemble)

2:40pm Japanese blues (Kayo Yoshioka of Neo blues maki)

3:10pm Japanese Folk Dances (RIJA Yosakoi Dancers)

3:35pm Community Folk Dance Lesson (sponsored by MSTDA)

4:05pm Japanese Taiko Drummers (Soh Daiko)
map of event locations.

and Cafe @Cornell Tech Sakura Festival Yakitori Grill Menu.

Be prepared for large crowds. One Roosevelt Island resident expressed this view held by some:
Please consider visiting Roosevelt Island on the following day. The cherry blossoms will still be here but without the overwhelming crowds. There is also the matter of safety. Tens of thousands of people coming at once on this little island will not make it a safe event.
As previously reported, several RIRA members have expressed concern over the planning, funding, insurance, crowd management and if RIRA is an appropriate organization to be organizing the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival which began in 2011, on a much smaller scale,

as a fundraising effort to assist victims after that year's earthquake in Japan.

According to RIOC, over 10 thousand people attended the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival.

Enjoy the 2019 Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival, be courteous and be safe.