Cherry Blossom Festival Comes to DowntownDC

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

By Rachel Rose Hartman

From street festivals and cocktail parties to bike tours and picnics, a range of exciting cultural and entertainment events are coming to DowntownDC this spring as part of the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF).  

The annual festival is billed as the nation's greatest springtime celebration and offers a variety of free and paid events for everyone, young and old to allow them to enjoy D.C.'s blooming Cherry Blossom trees, learn about Japanese culture and have fun in the nation's capital. The 2015 festival commemorates the 103rd anniversary of the gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki to Washington, D.C. in the year 1912.

This year's festival runs from March 20-April 12 with the traditional Pink Tie Party kickoff fundraising event March 19 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center (1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW). The party works to support the festival and help keep many of the events free and open to the public. Traditional festival highlights include the March 28 Kite Festival on the National Mall, the April 10 Grand Ball and the EventsDC April 11 Cherry Blossom Parade (with participation from the DowntownDC BID Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance employees). 

New events this year include "Blossoms and Baseball" April 4, a Washington Nationals vs. New York Yankees game at Nationals Park to benefit the festival, an Anacostia River Festival on April 12 and an April 18 National Greenscape Corridor Bike Tour

The DowntownDC BID is a proud host sponsor of the festival. Each year, over 1.5 million people attend the festival, which this year includes nearly 20 events in Downtown. Visitors create springtime demand for hotels and restaurants and provide a welcome boost to local businesses. For residents, the festival means amazing community events, food and drink specials, pink decorations and of course, beautiful blossoms.

The National Park Service announced March 3 that they estimate peak blossom time for 2015 will be April 11-14. That means that 70 percent of trees are expected to be blooming during that time period, but blooms will be visible in the period before and after the peak.

For 2015 Cherry Blossom Festival events in Downtown, see our list below. Visit www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org for complete information on this year's festival.