The National Cherry Blossom Festival begins March 20, and we have all the info you need to get your blossom on this year! This year’s festival, which runs from March 20 to April 15, is chock-full of events to honor both American and Japanese cultures.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival isn’t just a celebration of the trees and the blossoms — it’s a three-week-long cultural festival symbolizing the close bond forged between the two countries when the trees were gifted to America in 1912. The party starts with the Pink Tie Party — a fundraiser featuring cocktails, cuisine, live music, and dancing. The Opening Ceremony, a free event at the swanky Warner Theatre, will have traditional and contemporary performances from American and Japanese artists.
Other must-see events include these awesome, family-friendly, and jaw-dropping spectacles!
The Blossom Kite Festival
Time: Saturday, March 31, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue
The 7th annual Blossom Kite Festival shows off the creativity of kite makers and skill of fliers from all over the world! Bring your own kites, or kids can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field. Kites also available for purchase!
Time: Saturday, April 7, 1 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.; Fireworks display at 8:30 p.m. (weather-permitting)
Location: The Wharf, 1100 Maine Avenue, SW
The inaugural Petalpalooza will make its debut at The Wharf, D.C.’s newest half-mile-long waterfront destination. Formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, the event will include interactive art displays, super-cool games and activities, live music on three outdoor stages, a roller rink, a beer garden, and an amazing fireworks show by Pyrotecnico. For the fireworks, expect a dazzling choreographed display of more than 4,000 effects to light up the D.C. night sky.
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®
Time: Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: Constitution Avenue – From 7th to 17th Streets, NW
Cost: Starting at $20 for Grandstand Seating. Standing along the parade route from Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets, NW is FREE and open to the public. Arrive early for the best views.
Tickets: Click here for individual tickets. Click here for group tickets (10 or more).
One of D.C.’s largest spectator events, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® presented by Events D.C. runs for 10 blocks along Constitution Avenue. Enormous colorful helium balloons, painstakingly-designed floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers explode down the parade route in an awe-inspiring spectacle of music and showmanship. Click here for a full list of celebrity performers and entertainers.
Did you know?
According to the National Park Service and the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the 2018 cherry blossom peak bloom period is expected to take place from March 17 to 20. So get your bloom-loving-buns down there, or you’ll miss it!
Do you have any tips for newbies going to the National Cherry Blossom Festival? Help a newbie out in the comments below!