Finally, spring is in the air and the anticipation is building! It’s referred to by many as the City in Bloom. Just days from now on March 20 the annual celebration will take place in our nation’s Capital. The Washington DC National Cherry Blossom Festival will officially begin as more than 1.5 million visitors make their way to see the beauty of thousands of fluffy pink blooms. This is an annual celebration marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival honors the long friendship and lasting relationship between the United States and Japan. In 1912 the mayor of Tokyo presented the United States with a gift of over 3,000 cherry blossom trees. Since then, millions have visited Washington DC to take in the beauty of the blooming trees and celebrate the special ties between the US and Japan. The first two trees from Japan were planted on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. Plantings of the cherry blossoms spread from there.
Events during the National Cherry Blossom Festival include a diverse program of daily activities and exhibitions for every member of the family. A large number of them are geared toward learning and understanding more about the Japanese culture and the history behind the beautiful cherry blossom trees. Most events are free and open to the public.
The most popular time to visit the Festival is a few days before peak bloom. Visitors claim this is time to see the most vibrant colors of the blooms. The National Park service predicts peak time to visit this year is April 11–14.
There are many transportation options to get to the Festival. Metrorail is popular, but many other public options are available.