Public immersed in Japanese culture during ‘Japan Festival’


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Japanese culture was celebrated in downtown Lexington this weekend. The Japan America Society of Kentucky put on the 2019 Japan Festival at the courthouse plaza on Saturday.

Consul General of Japan, Kobayashi, and Lexington city councilman Josh McCurn talked about the relationship between Kentucky and Japan.

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“Over 200 companies from Japan now call Kentucky home,” said McCurn. “47% of all foreign investments here in Kentucky comes from Japan.”

Attendees had a chance to weave their way through the various booths, getting a hands on lesson in origami and learning how to write their name in calligraphy.

One of the most popular attractions was the RONIN Taiko Drummers.

Festival-goers could even try on a kimono or sample some authentic cuisine.

Kids waited in line for a chance to put on a sumo suit, while others took their talents to the ninja warrior course.

The day combined fun, food and education of Japanese culture in the Commonwealth.

Mayor Linda Gorton officially proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019 as ‘Japan Festival Day’.

For more information on the Japan America Society of Kentucky, click HERE.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!