Sendai is located in the Tohoku region and was the biggest city to be most heavily hit by the 2011.03 Earthquake. I visited Tohoku to cover the earthquake relief efforts and then went back to Sendai to cover the festivities.
The festival was going to be cancelled just like most other events as many thought it was not appropriate to "have fun" during such a time. But Japan needed to be cheered up so many festivals like the Tanabata Festival went ahead which gave people the strength they needed to rebuild Japan.
Writings and photos of my visit to Tohoku are covered in the 201103 Earthquake category below.