Arvada Church Festival Includes Japanese Doll Display

Photo: Simpson United Methodist Church, Arvada CO. Source:
Photo: Simpson United Methodist Church, Arvada CO. Source:
Simpson United Methodist Church’s annual Japanese Doll and Cultural Festival is scheduled for March 5-6, 2016. The festival is free and open to the public, held at Simpson United Methodist Church (UMC), 6001 Wolff Street, in Arvada CO. Each day, the festival begins at 11am and runs until mid-afternoon (4pm).

According to Simpson UMC:

This festival combines two Japanese celebrations, Hina Matsuri (Girl’s Day) and Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day). Hina Matsuri is celebrated annually in Japan in March. Families with daughters display their dolls (hina ningyo) in their house for a few weeks before the festival. The set of dolls traditionally consist of the emperor, empress, and their court on a tiered display. Children’s Day is celebrated in May in Japan and is a national holiday that celebrates the happiness of all children.

This annual Japanese Doll and Cultural Festival’s exhibits include:

  • Japanese dolls for boys and girls
  • Ikebana – Japanese art of flower arrangement
  • Bonsai – miniature trees
  • Kimonos – traditional garments
  • Shodo – calligraphy of the Japanese language/characters

Arts and crafts will be on display, and there will be a chance for visitors to try paper folding, or origami.

Performances are scheduled to delight attendees of all ages. Scheduled throughout the festival are Japanese dances and musical performances with instruments including Taiko (drums), Koto (a stringed instrument), Shamisen (three-string plucked instrument), shakuhachi (wooden flute), violin, and ukulele. Martial arts demonstrations are scheduled, covering Japanese martial arts styles, such as Judo, Karate, Kendo, and Aikido.

A tea ceremony is also part of the festival, allowing visitors to see this intricate and beautiful ceremony live.

Questions regarding the festival may be directed to the church (303.428.7963).

According to their website, Simpson UMC “… is a multicultural congregation rooted deeply in the Japanese American culture and experience. We strive to reach out to all people in the belief that diversity is a strength. As such, today, our membership is a rainbow of ages, genders, cultures and experiences.” They welcome new members, believing “There’s always room at the table.” The church is online at, and on Facebook.

As part of their community works and openness to the community, Simpson United Methodist Church offers Japanese language classes on Saturday mornings. The classes run from 9am to noon, and are held through May and pick up again in September.   Classes range from beginners to advanced, and registration with the church is required. Call 303.428.7963 to find out more.

Arvada CO is northwest of Denver. Simpson UMC is located at the west edge of Adams County, Colorado.

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Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.