The first official day of spring was this past Sunday, March 20th. However, for many residents of the DMV, we don’t get the urge to spring clean or trade out our winter sweaters and boots for short sleeves and sandals until we hear two words: Peak bloom. Visiting the Cherry Blossoms at peak bloom is tradition for many locals, but also is cause for many out-of-town tourists to flock to the area. Given in friendship from the People of Japan to the People of the United States in 1912, the cherry trees in Washington DC are spread throughout the city, with small congregations of them in the National Arboretum, Anacostia Park, Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, Stanton Park, and Oxon Run Park, but none of these are as awe-inspiring or impressive as those around the Tidal Basin, which includes over 2,500 trees.
The first Cherry Blossom Festival took place in 1925 and was sponsored by local civic groups. In the time since, it has been sponsored by the National Park Service, and is now a two weeklong event, the dates of which vary to accommodate the cherry blossom bloom. The events of the festival include performances, street festivals, and a parade, which are spread out over the two-week time frame.
Ultimately, the cherry blossom bloom is an event which perfectly encapsulates the beginning of spring, and which many locals and tourists flock to for stunning pictures, and as a chance to experience a combination of natural wonder, and some of DC’s most famous monuments, which include the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Japanese Pagoda. It’s recommended that you block out a few hours of your day for the Cherry Blossom experience, because there’s no shortage of things to see and do!
Hernández, A. (2022, March 19). National cherry blossom festival 2022: Key event dates. NBC4 Washington. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/the-scene/national-cherry-blossom-festival-your-ultimate-guide/2988226/
Things to know about the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC: Washington DC. What to Know About the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC. (n.d.). Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://washington.org/visit-dc/things-to-know-cherry-blossoms-washington-dc#:~:text=Off%2Dthe%2Dradar%20cherry%20blossom,travel%20status%20updates%20as%20well.
U.S. Department of the Interior. (n.d.). History of the Cherry Trees. National Parks Service. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.nps.gov/subjects/cherryblossom/history-of-the-cherry-trees.htm#:~:text=The%20tradition%20of%20celebrating%20the,is%20an%20important%20flowering%20plant.
Schott, K. (2021, March 29). How to see the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., this year. Condé Nast Traveler. Retrieved March 23, 2022, from https://www.cntraveler.com/story/how-to-see-washington-dc-cherry-blossoms-this-year