We last saw the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in 2019, and the thousands lining Constitution Avenue in downtown D.C. were eager for its return Saturday morning.
Stephen Sire waited patiently near the Washington Monument for the parade to begin midmorning on Saturday.
“It’s a beautiful spring day, and life is grand, so I just want to come down and enjoy the day,” Sire told WTOP before the parade kicked off.
He was among thousands who lined Constitution Avenue, taking in the sunny spring day and watching marching bands, unicycles and countless floats go by.
“I like seeing the cherry blossom balloons, and sometimes when they walk past me, I yell ‘spin,’ and then sometimes they spin the balloon around,” said Sire. “It’s a minor thing, but it’s fun.”
Others enjoyed marching bands from high schools in D.C. and from across Florida, Georgia and New York. Young people, in particular, marveled at the towering 30-foot Peppa Pig and Smurfette.
Julia Joseph just moved to D.C. from Minnesota, and it was her first cherry blossom season.
“It’s my first one. So it’s been fun,” said Joseph. “You should come next year. It was awesome.”
Dawn Fichtner also enjoyed the parade with her husband: “We brought the whole family and the neighbors with us,” said Fichtner.
Numerous other floats were seen over the course of the two-hour parade, including the grand marshal, actor Las Alonso from “The Boys” who is a D.C. native.