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Helpful FAQ: The 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival typically coincides with the “peak bloom” of D.C.’s cherry blossom trees, which Japan gave to the U.S. as a gift in 1912. (Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival/Simon Williams)

WASHINGTON — The National Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual springtime celebration, attracts visitors from all over the world to Washington, D.C.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival typically coincides with the “peak bloom” of D.C.’s cherry blossom trees, which Japan gave to the U.S. as a gift in 1912. According to the National Park Service, peak bloom was reached Thursday, April 5, and best viewing should continue through April 9–12.

(The Park Service, however, adds that “under ideal conditions, blossoms can remain for up to two weeks.”)

Throughout its four-week run, the festival hosts a variety of family-friendly events — from concerts to parades and more.

When:

The 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival runs March 20 through April 15.

Where:

D.C.’s cherry blossom trees line the city’s Tidal Basin along the Potomac River (see pink areas in map above). 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 places to 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.

Events:

Can’t-miss events at the National Cherry Blossom Festival include the festival parade, the kite festival and Petalpalooza (formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival).

Find a list of the Cherry Blossom Festival’s can’t-miss events here.

Getting around

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.

Learn more about travel and parking options on WTOP’s Getting Around page. 

Volunteering

The National Cherry Blossom Festival utilizes an army of volunteers. There are volunteer opportunities at a variety of different venues. Volunteers receive a free Cherry Blossom T-shirt. Find out what’s available and how to sign up.


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