Fireworks for Cherry Blossom Festival, low temperatures threaten blooms

Weather permitting, you can enjoy fireworks at the Wharf during Petapalooza on Saturday, April 7. (Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival)
Fireworks exploded over the Potomac River April 3, as part of the D.C. Waterfront’s celebration of the Cherry Blossom Festival last year. (Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival) (Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin are in peak bloom. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms bloom near the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms bloom near the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
Photo shows cherry blossoms and Jefferson Memorial
The cherry blossoms are seen early April 6, 2017. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen) (WTOP/John Domen)
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Weather permitting, you can enjoy fireworks at the Wharf during Petapalooza on Saturday, April 7. (Courtesy National Cherry Blossom Festival)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms in full bloom at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Cherry blossoms bloom near the Jefferson Memorial at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)
Photo shows cherry blossoms and Jefferson Memorial
Cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin. (WTOP/John Domen)

WASHINGTON — The National Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. continued Saturday with the Petalpalooza event, despite forecasts threatening the recently peaked blooms.

Formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, Petalpalooza featured interactive art installations, games and activities, live music, a fireworks show and more.

The free event offered activities for all ages, including a roller skating rink, a gigantic floral color-by-number, calligraphy artists, bike-powered art, a Petalpalooza Main Stage, and a 202 Stage featuring DC-based performers.

The event was held at The Wharf from 1 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Peak bloom arrived Thursday, but the cold forecasts do not bode well for the blossoms.

“Twenty-seven degrees is the threshold where you’ll start to see damage to the blossoms and some of them being killed off,” said Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Park Service.

With the low temperatures Saturday night into Sunday morning dipping into the upper 20s around the region, it’ll be something to keep an eye on, he said. If so, then Saturday could well be the last time to see the cherry blossoms at their peak.

Under ideal conditions, the trees can hold their blossoms for up to two weeks, according to the National Park Service.

Despite the unseasonably cold temperatures, large crowds are still expected on the National Mall and along the Tidal Basin across the weekend. There are several options for getting around. 

WTOP’s John Domen contributed to this report.

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