WASHINGTON — The District’s cherry blossom celebrations get bigger and better each year.
This spring marks the 105th anniversary of Japan giving the cherry blossom trees as a gift to the United States. Starting March 20, the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival will feature four weeks of events celebrating springtime and the lasting friendship between the countries.
Here are highlights from the festivities:
Saturday, March 25, 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off in 2017 with an Opening Ceremony at the historic Warner Theater in Northwest D.C. The event will feature traditional and contemporary performances by Japanese pop artist May J, the 6821 Quintet, dance group El Squad and more.
Blossom Kite Festival
Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Watch colorful kites soar above the fluttering cherry blossoms at the seventh annual Blossom Kite Festival on the National Mall. Kids can make kites at an activity station, and skilled kite makers and kite fliers will exhibit their craft. Bring your own kite for a chance to win one of several kite competitions.
National Cherry Blossom Parade
Saturday, April 8, 10 a.m. to noon
The mile-long parade along Constitution Avenue runs from 7th to 17th streets in Northwest D.C. Featuring giant balloons, floats, celebrities and performers, the spectacle will dazzle spectators from the National Archives to the Washington Monument.
Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
Saturday, April 15, 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Before the fireworks show at 8:30 p.m., stop by the District Wharf for the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival. The event features live music, a beer garden, food trucks and activities for people of all ages. Then, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. head to The Titanic Memorial for pre-fireworks entertainment.
Tidal Basin & Ana Performance Stage
Saturday, March 25 to Sunday, April 9, noon to 6 p.m. daily
Every day is a celebration in the spring. For about two weeks, daily performances will take place at the Ana Performance Stage on 1501 Maine Ave. SW. The Welcome Area is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., where National Park Service rangers and volunteers will answer questions, provide first aid if needed and offer souvenirs and food.