The National Cherry Blossom Festival is just around the corner, and it is one of the most beautiful times to visit the Nation’s Capital. In fact, more than 1.5 million people come down to visit the Washington, DC area during the four-week celebration. Strolls around the Tidal Basin are spectacular, the blossoms are dressed in shades of soft pinks, lilacs, and whites. Restaurants, bars, museums, and shops offer special menus and events to celebrate this wonderful festivity. For those wondering, what exactly is The Cherry Blossom Festival- The Cherry Blossom Festival is a commemoration of friendship of two nations, Japan and the United States. The festival honors a gift from Tokyo, Japan to the city of Washington, DC. In 1972, 3,000 cherry trees were gifted as a sign of friendship from Japan to the United States. The trees were planted around the Tidal Basin and every spring they bloom and delight us with their beauty.
Multiple events take place during the four-week celebration. Events ranging from Black Tie parties, fireworks, concerts, and a wonderful parade. The Smithsonian museums offer great family friendly activities to celebrate The Cherry Blossom Festival. The Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival and The Blossom Kite Festival are two events that should not be missed. Most events are free of charge and are family friendly. Last year, my mother visited from New Jersey and we enjoyed the parade, it was a fun time. Since early, people bring their chairs and line them up Constitution Avenue, waiting for the parade to start. You also have the option to purchase tickets in reserved seating areas, in case you do not want to bring your own chairs.
It is good to note that many hotels in the Washington, DC area have partnered with the National Cherry Blossom Organization and offer special pricing during the celebration. Some of the partners offer additional amenities such as the Petal Pass, which allows access to special experiences and activities across the city. Many restaurants offer special menus featuring cherry blossoms both in their dishes and in cocktails.
The best way to enjoy the blossoms is to walk, so bring your comfortable walking shoes! If walking is not your thing, then you can take advantage of special entertainment cruises such as the Cherry Blossom Dining Cruises or Big Bus Tours, and you can appreciate the blossoms from their comfort. You can also enjoy by renting a bike and riding around the Tidal Basin. Bikes are readily available for rent throughout the city.
For this year, the dates for this fabulous event are March 20-April 14, 2019. You can find a schedule of events and more information by visiting the National Cherry Blossom Festival website. In the website, you can also check the status of blooming of the trees. It is beautiful to see them in peak bloom, but anytime during the festival is a wonderful time to visit. The National Cherry Blossom Festival organization is a non-for-profit organization and volunteers and donations are encouraged, you can visit their webpage for further information.