What’s New at Obon 2012

Last year we saw our biggest Obon ever. In just five hours, we welcomed almost 9,000 people.  The overwhelming popularity of our once-small event brought with it long lines, large crowds, barely enough parking spaces, and difficulty for guests and staff alike in navigating Morikami grounds.   While still a magical and unforgettable evening, this year we want to offer you an experience that’s more intimate, enjoyable, and just as exciting.  Lucky for us, you told us you want the same thing.  In the words of one visitor, “Perhaps it would be a good idea to limit the amount of people so that everyone can enjoy the festival and all it has to offer?”   We couldn’t agree more.

This year, for the first time, we are limiting admission to Bon Festival, coming up Saturday, August 18.  In years past, we offered tickets online and at the gate.  This year, tickets will only be available online through our Bon Festival event page.  This way, we can ensure a breezy festival-entry experience for all our ticketed guests.  Everyone at Obon gets to skip the line this year.  As always, Morikami members get in free, and do not need to reserve their tickets in advance.  Are you a member but unsure if your membership level covers your Bon Festival guests?  Email morikamimembers@pbcgov.org – we’re here to help!

Tickets will go on sale this Friday, June 1 and are expected to sell out.  We strongly encourage you to buy your tickets before August 1.  In fact, we’re giving away exclusive Obon Experience packages to five lucky winners who purchase their tickets before then.  Expect yours to include Obon staples – fans, water, Japanese snacks – and a few things a little harder to come by, like a VIP parking pass and Morikami membership.*

In Japan, travel spikes in July and August as families reunite to spend Obon together.  We want to preserve the tradition of remembrance and celebration at our own version of Obon.  We feel confident that by improving your individual festival experience, we can keep this spirit intact for years and years to come.  We can’t wait to share the 35th annual Bon Festival with you!

 *Complete Obon Experience package includes a Morikami tote bag, fans, water, snacks, $25 worth of food & beverage tickets, one lantern sleeve, one VIP parking pass, one Morikami dual membership, a commemorative Morikami 35th Anniversary keychain, a $20 Museum Store gift certificate, two coupons for Yo-Yo Balloons, two fast-track gallery admission passes, two VIP taiko performance seats.  The Obon Experience package is NOT available for purchase.

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26 thoughts on “What’s New at Obon 2012

    • Hello and my named is Richard Hamilton Jr.I would like to attend this year Obon festivals at Morikami and I know you have to purchase ticket online. The problem is I do not own or have any credit card or debit card at all and was wondering ( If it not to late) may-be I could send or mail in a money order? Is it possible because I sure don,t want to miss this year Japabese Obon event.

  1. I ordered tickets on line and could not print my ticket info. I have a confirmation number but I still need the paper ticket to be able to get in. Please tell me how I can print this info.i

    • Hi Ellen,

      I don’t work for Morikami but saw your comment. I suggest going to FedEx Kinkos to log onto your email and print your ticket. Perhaps you can forward to a friend or family member and ask that they print it for you. Attending past festivals, they will need the ticket to let you in, I’m not sure just knowing the confirmation number will help. Maybe they can print the ticket for you at the gardens, but surely you can find someone near you to help.

    • Hi, Ellen! Your tickets are a PDF attachment to your confirmation email, and that’s what you need to print. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help – we look forward to celebrating with you tomorrow!

  2. Since I will be going by myself and am a big chicken I am asking ..is the parking lot safe? Or can you purchase a VIP Parking pass?

    • Hi A, the parking lots are completely safe and staffed by parking staff to help park and locate your car at the end of the evening. VIP parking passes are not available for purchase. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  3. Hi my name is Katiuska, I would like to attend the Bon festivals this year. Where I can to purchase ticket. Exist any posibilty for buy ticket now. Is it possible, please let me know if we can bye on line or directly in your event. Thank you

    • Hi, Katiuska! Bon Festival tickets are completely sold out, unfortunately. However, festival admission is a privilege of membership, and if you’re interesting in learning more about Morikami membership, I encourage you to visit our Member and Guest Relations tent right at festival entry. And, if you become a member at the festival, you receive 10% off your membership, an extra month free and a free gift. Hope to see you tomorrow!

  4. I am a member also, but want to bring a guest and was not sure if I needed to purchase a ticket. My sister and her family are members and planning to attend, as well as my parents who are on your support wall.
    Please advise me as to whether I can bring my one guest.
    Thank you.

  5. Just learned of the limitation for the 2012 Bon fest. Why? This has too be the stupidest idea every. Grow!!! Never restrict or limit something successful!

    • No, I am glad they are limiting it. Last year it was too big and wasn’t even enjoyable because of the crowds. It took over an hour just to get out of the parking lot. It used to be that Obon was a nice pleasant experience, now it is an overgrown carnival. I’m glad they are making changes so it can be going back to the way it used to be.

  6. I am also glad that it will be kept at an appropriate scale. I am sad that it is raining and that the sky is full of lightning. If the festival can’t happen tonight, I hope that it will be rescheduled. Does anyone know if we can get into the buildings now, if not into the grounds?

  7. We have been sitting in the pouring rain in your muddy grass parking lot since 3:30. Do you think maybe you can start to let people in now, just asking.

  8. This ticketing policy comes off as extremely elitist and exclusive.

    ” ‘Perhaps it would be a good idea to limit the amount of people so that everyone can enjoy the festival and all it has to offer?’ We couldn’t agree more.”

    Yes, in order for everyone to enjoy the festival, the festival is now only available to those who have 1) a computer and 2) enough technological (and financial) sophistication to buy something online with a credit card. Most seniors I know possess neither.

    So for all to enjoy, the policy is to limit enjoyment to a select “some.”

    Good job.

    The best part is the no refunds, rain or shine, policy. I’d love to find out how many of those prepaid ticketholders actually showed up tonight vs. how many opted to stay home, out of the rain and muck – especially families with children for whom it’s unreasonable to stay out until 11 at night. Morikami collected the admissions in advance though, so the event organizers are in the black no matter how many people attend.

    I’d also like to thank Palm Beach County, for their support of this endeavor. Taxes are so high that I can’t afford to live there anymore, but not to worry – Morikami will be just fine.

    • As a person who has been on both sides of “unlimited” visitors. It is the best thing to happen if you want an “intimate” climate of celebration. I have worked and attended art/craft and Ren Faires since 2003 and they get so packed as to not allow people a chance to observe or participate in activities. I loved the smallness this past Saturday evening. Yes, I stayed on until opening at 7 and left about 12;20am. Elitist? not really. If the older folk or others want to attend the Morikami’s events and have no computers, then let them become members or make a phone call and I am very sure the staff would go out of their way to help the caller obtain a ticket. You sound like a “sour graper”. I grew up in Broward county and left 36 years ago and yes, I understand about not being able to afford to live in PBC as they prefer monied retirees and not so working class. That’s why I live in the country and also I can’t stand all the buildings and crime. BTW I am a qudriplegic and use an electric wheelchair and throughout my time at the Obon festival I was treated as a very welcomed guest.

  9. You could have come to the museum and gotten tickets to the best of my knowledge and in South Florida during the summer it can rain any time, and the festival did open and stay later to compensate. It’s unfortutnate that we had torrential rains with lightening and thunder, I’m sure the people that organized the festival did all that is humanly possible to make festival a fun experience. Sorry you’re so bitter. Good luck with that. I enjoyed it regardless.

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