Floats (and floating surprises) planned for cherry blossom parade

WASHINGTON — Part of the line-up for Saturday’s National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is a surprise: Organizers are being coy about which giant helium balloon characters will float over Constitution Avenue.

“It is a secret. You’ll have to see,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer at Events DC.

What isn’t a secret? In addition to big balloons, marching bands, dignitaries, beauty queens and others, there will be celebrity performers such as “Dancing with the Stars” winner Drew Lachey from the group 98 Degrees, Grammy-nominated country singer Jo Dee Messina, R&B singer Blu Cantrell and rapper DJ Kool, who’s a D.C. native.

“They’ll definitely get off [their floats] in front of the grand stage and do a performance, so everybody will get a chance to see them,” O’Dell said. “There’ll be floats from many different organizations that will also have celebrities on them as well.”

The parade is 10 a.m. to noon on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets in Northwest. It’s free and open to the public for those standing along Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets in Northwest.

Reserved, paid seating in the grandstands is $20–$30 between 15th and 17th streets in Northwest.

People who absolutely can’t wait (wink) to find out which giant helium balloon characters are participating can find the entire parade’s line-up here.

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