Thousands of people gathered along Constitution Avenue in D.C. for the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
Dreary, gray skies full of rain gave way to an abundance of sunshine just as performers from all over the world lined up to march the 10 block route from 7th and Constitution down to 17th and Constitution in Northwest.
Sitting in a prime, front row spot on 9th Street was Anne Cole, who drove to town in an RV a few weeks ago with her husband from Box Elder, South Dakota. They’ve been here for a few weeks taking it all in.
“We wanted to come for the blossom season and all the flowers,” said Cole. “We wanted to see everything, one time only.”
“There’s so much to take in, there’s so much history. We’ve absolutely loved it. And the blossoms were just the cherry on the cake,” said Cole.
Friday night, Nicole Humphries made the trip south from Wayne, New Jersey, to see the parade with her daughter, Hallie.
“We timed it for the parade,” said Humphries. “Of course New Jersey has cherry blossoms too but they’re not as beautiful as the one’s here so we wanted to show her something a little different.”
Hallie loved the dancers who shimmied their way down the parade route the most. Other kids along the parade route were ready to rattle off everything they saw.
Jacai Kearney of Northwest D.C. stood along a concrete planter doing just that, but he started his list of favorite displays with the soldiers from the various military branches who marched their way down in dress uniforms.
“All the stuff that’s part of our life,” he said. “Then I see everybody with balloons doing everything,” he added.
“It’s so crowded that most people can’t even see, they have to stand up on things,” he said. “What I am going to do is enjoy the show.”
Juan Suero of Rosslyn, Virginia, said he was doing the same thing. He’s lived in the D.C. area for about a year after retiring from the military. This was his first cherry blossom parade.
“The kids love it, so I had to bring them,” said Suero. “I couldn’t miss it this year.”
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