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Free family fun in the park: Japan Festival boasts 22 kid-friendly events — cosplay contest included

Japan Festival 2014 CultureMap Moment
The 21st annual Japan Festival is taking place this Saturday and Sunday in Hermann Park. Courtesy of KHOU Houston/Channel 11

More than 30,000 people are expected to make their way to this weekend's Japan Festival 2014 in Hermann Park. The festival, hosted by the Japan America Society of Houston, is celebrating its 21st year as the city's premiere Japanese cultural festival.

For this week's KHOU CultureMap Moment, KHOU's Lily Jang talks with CultureMap listings editor Joel Luks and Japan America Society of Houston executive director Patsy Brown about the cultural celebration.

"There's going to be Japanese food available, there's martial arts, Japanese merchandise," Brown says. "There's so much going on in the park, and plus, you get to take in the beautiful Japanese garden while you're here."

The festival, which offers free admission for all, will feature 22 family-friendly acts, including traditional music, dance and even a "cosplay" contest in which contestants compete to win free airfare to Japan.

"It's a representation of the diversity that exists in Houston," Luks says.

The annual festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, is a good option for kids and adults alike. With moderate temperatures expected this weekend — and free admission — there's no real reason to miss this unique outdoor festival.

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