WASHINGTON – There are only a few more weeks until the official start of spring on March 20, and with it, the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
March 31 to April 3 will be the peak bloom days for the cherry trees lining Washington’s Tidal Basin, as announced by the National Park Service Wednesday at a news conference at the Newseum.
“After analyzing past data, winter temperatures and weather forecasts for March, we have arrived at this peak bloom date,” said Gay Vietzke, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. However, precise dates aren’t usually available until about 10 days before the likely blooming.
The cherry trees have bloomed around April 10 for the past three years. The average is April 4.
The festival will last until April 17 and will have over 40 different events and performances in celebration of the friendship between the U.S. and Japan. It was in 1912 when the then mayor of Tokyo City Yukio Ozaki gave Washington a gift of over 3,000 cherry trees.
Events during the three-week festival include several music shows, a parade, a kite festival and a J-pop and anime inspired party called Cherry Blast.
At the news conference, Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae of Japan said he expects over 1.5 million people to visit the cherry trees.
During the festival, businesses and Metro stations will feature pink lighting as part of the City in Bloom campaign. Both the Circulator buses and Capital Bikeshare bikes will be decorated with pink flowers during that time.
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Download photos: Cherry-Blossoms.zip