Ramen Tatsu-Ya is one Tokyo Night Festival’s featured vendors. Rainy weather and muddy ground conditions prompted organizers to cancel the festival Saturday.
The aftermath of rainy weather forced the cancellation Saturday of the Tokyo Night Festival, squashing part of one of Houston’s major annual celebrations of Japanese culture.
The festival had been expected to draw more than 30 food vendors, plus live performances from DJs, poetry slam artists, dancers, martial artists, sumo wrestlers and more.
The festival started without a hitch Friday afternoon, with the opening ceremony and vendors drawing crowds, but organizers canceled the nighttime festivities after rainy weather created unsafe conditions at the festival’s outdoor venue,  the Texas Festival Grounds,  said Jordan Smith, spokesperson for the festival. 
Although there were clear skies and sunshine Saturday, the rain Friday night caused too much mud and water to accumulate on the fields of the Texas Festival Grounds, Smith said.
The organizers were “heartbroken” to have to cancel the festival Saturday, but they were worried that the muddy fields would make it unsafe for guests and vendors to walk on or move their vehicles, Smith said.
Festival organizers are waiting for the ground to dry out before potentially resuming the festival at 3 p.m. Sunday, he said, but as of midday Saturday, it was unclear whether the festivities would take place instead Sunday.
“We are deeply saddened by the closure of our opening day, and our team is doing everything we can to keep this festival alive. We prioritize the safety of our volunteers, vendors and guests,” the organizers said in a statement on their Instagram page Friday night.
Guests who were unable to attend because of the weather can seek a refund of their tickets on Eventbrite, according to the festival’s Instagram page.
If the festivities proceed Sunday, they would likely be smaller, with just food and merchandise vendors and no performers, Smith said. People who purchased tickets for the previous days would be able to use their tickets Sunday, even if they had previously requested a refund, Smith said. Guests can check the festival’s Instagram and Facebook pages for updates.
This weekend’s rainout occurred after festival organizers shifted the venue last minute when their original location — Lucky Land, a 3-acre Chinese theme park — was reportedly shut down by an investigation from the fire marshal recently.
Marissa Luck covers real estate for the Houston Chronicle.
Originally from Hawaii, Marissa previously covered refining and chemicals for the Chronicle and also had stints at Costar, the Austin Business Journal and The Daily News in Longview, Wash.
She grew up near Seattle and studied international political economy at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.
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