The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual springtime celebration in Washington, D.C. that attracts visitors from all over the world.
The festival typically coincides with the “peak bloom” of D.C.’s cherry blossom trees, which were gifted to the U.S. from Japan in 1912. According to the National Park Service, the average peak bloom date is April 4.
Throughout its four-week run, the festival hosts a variety of family-friendly events — from concerts to parades and more.
When: This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival runs March 20 through April 17, 2016.
Where: D.C.’s cherry blossom trees line the city’s Tidal Basin along the Potomac River. This is the most popular viewing spot for the blossoms — but it is not the only spot.
The Chevy Chase, Maryland, neighborhood of Kenwood has 1,200 cherry trees, located just off River Road near the popular Capital Crescent Trail. The U.S. National Arboretum and Anacostia Park are two other locations where you can catch a glimpse of the pink-hued trees.
American University in Northwest D.C. has 30 cherry trees at the East Quad Building. They were planted as an expression of AU-Korean friendship in 1943 by the exiled president of Korea.
Travel: It’s easy to get around D.C. — especially in the spring. There are bike share programs, car share companies, boats, taxis and, of course, the Metro.
The National Park Service on says the peak will be March 24 or March 25. Initially, it said the timeframe would be March 18 to March 23. The peak time is defined as when 70 percent of the trees around the Tidal Basin will be in bloom.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival utilizes an army of volunteers. Numbers of opportunities are available in different venues. Volunteers receive a free Cherry Blossom T-shirt. Find out what’s available and how to sign up here.
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