Tours offer a different, fun perspective on cherry trees

WASHINGTON — The cherry blossoms haven’t popped yet, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is well underway.

Flying kites, sipping saki, enjoying fireworks and a parade all are part of the fun, but the festival also provides a unique opportunity to learn about D.C.’s historic cherry trees.

“You can learn an awful lot. We have a variety of tours,” says Brian Hall, U.S Park Service public affairs officer for the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

U.S Park rangers lead numbers of programs on and around the Tidal Basin related to the Cherry Blossom Festival.

“They talk about the history of the trees, the history of the area. Some are specifically about the trees,” says Hall.

Some programs you only can experience on festival weekends. They include running, cycling and pet friendly tours.

“So you can have fun literally with the whole family,” says Hall.

Lantern walks are held along the Tidal Basin on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

Peak bloom — when 70 percent of the Tidal Basin Yoshino Cherry blossoms are open — is forecast for April 8 to April 12. The National Cherry Blossom Festival lasts until April 13.

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