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Cherry Blossom Festival lantern shines light on friendship

WASHINGTON (AP) — An annual ritual at the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington is shining a light on friendship and peace between the United States and Japan.

Sunday’s lighting of the Japanese Stone Lantern continues a tradition that began in 1954 when the lantern, first lit in 1651 to honor the Third Shogun of the Tokugawa period, was given to the city as a gift.

The lantern is located on north side of the Tidal Basin, at the west end of Kutz Bridge at the junction of Independence Avenue and 17th Street, S.W.

Officials say the lantern is the oldest freestanding man-made stone structure in Washington.

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