The National Park Service has announced the cherry blossom tree’s peak blooming dates for this year and has begun to plan the Cherry Blossom Festival. The event is highly anticipated each year. It has become one of the most well-known signs of the coming of spring, something that most people are really looking forward too after the cold winter months.
Soon enough, the Tidal Basin will be covered in the blossoms of cherry trees. The National Park Service announced the dates on March 2 that the blossoms are likely to be blooming and sporting their beautiful colors. The peak bloom dates for the Tidal Basin will be March 31 until April 3. “Peak bloom” means that 70 percent of the trees in the area will be in bloom at this time. However, each year, these dates change due to weather conditions. Sometimes, the trees bloom as early as March 15 and as late as April 20. The average bloom date is April 4.
The Tidal Basin, which is located in Washington, D.C., is covered with cherry blossom trees. The trees were a gift from Japan in 1912. The country gifted the United States over 3,000 of the beautiful trees, which now cover the nation’s capital. Cherry blossoms trees have become a national symbol of change (of spring).
U.S. National Park Service officials have slated the festival to honor the gorgeous trees to spread over four weeks. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival will be held March 20 through April 17 in honor of a great gift from Japan: these gorgeous trees.
They have also revealed some of the events that will be occurring throughout the festival:
Saturday, March 26: The official opening ceremony will take place. There will be performances throughout the day at the Warner Theatre. Tickets to the opening ceremony and events surrounding the day are free.
Saturday, April 2: The nation’s capital will hold the “Blossom Kite Festival.” It has been an annual tradition for year. There are competitions and demonstrations. You can bring your own kite or make one there.
Saturday, April 9: People will gather to enjoy a day of food vendors, shopping, an artists’ marketplace and many other festivities. The day will end with the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival.
Saturday, April 16: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will take place. The parade will be a 10-block lineup of floats and balloons, all pink to honor the Blossom Festival. You can purchase Grand Stand tickets for $20.
After the parade, the Sakura Matsuri Festival will commence. The Sakura Matsuri Festival honors Japanese culture with food, performances and celebration. This festival is free for children under 12 and $10 for everyone else.
From 6 p.m. until 2 a.m., the Cherry Blast will take place. This is another celebration of the Japanese culture. There will be sushi workshops, sake tastings, food from Tokyo, a dance party and other things celebrating Japanese pop-culture.
The National Park Service is also celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Because of the Park Service hitting the big 100, there will be hidden cherry blossom-themed gnomes throughout the festival. If you find one, you will receive a festival prize package.
This year’s festival will mark the 104th anniversary of the gift from Japan in 1912 as a sign of friendship between the two countries.
Photo: Flickr: www.GlynLowe.com