DowntownDC Welcomes the National Cherry Blossom Festival
By Rachel Rose Hartman
In just two weeks, National Cherry Blossom Festival season kicks off, offering a variety of signature events located right here in Downtown.
The festival, billed as the nation's greatest springtime celebration, runs from March 20-April 13. Downtown attendees have their pick of signature events in their own backyard, including:
- Pink Tie Party: This kickoff fundraising event will be held March 20 at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center (1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW). Tickets are limited.
- Family Days: Enjoy free activities for kids of all ages at the National Building Museum (401 F Street NW) March. 22 & 23.
- Grand Sake Tasting: Attendees to this fundraising event April 3 can sample world-famous sake, shochu and beer at the Carnegie Library (801 K Street NW). Tickets are limited.
- National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®: Check out floats, giant helium balloons, live performances, costumes and more at this free signature event April 12, which runs along Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets NW.
- Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival: Enjoy food, arts, culture, merchandise and live performances at this street festival, held April 12 at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street NW. Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
The annual festival, of which the DowntownDC BID is a host sponsor, in 2014 commemorates the 102nd anniversary of the gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C.
It looks as if April 8-12 might be the peak time to check out the cherry blossoms. The National Park Service announced this week at the festival kickoff press conference at the Newseum (555 Pennsylvania Ave NW) that April 8-12 is predicted to be peak cherry blossom bloom time this year.
And keep your eyes out for the pink bike!
Just one pink "bike in bloom" Capital Bikeshare bike, decorated with cherry blossoms, will be mixed in with Bikeshare's standard red bicycles this season. The public will be encouraged to find the bike, document their find via social media and of course, take it for a spin.