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Spring is a favorite time of year for many, and nowhere is this more apparent than in Washington DC. For our nation’s capital, spring signifies the arrival of more than just milder weather. This season marks the blooming of the magnificent cherry blossom trees, creating a vibrant spectacle of gorgeous pink flowers. If you’re planning a visit to DC in the springtime, you’ll be vacationing at just the right time to witness the beauty of the cherry blossoms and participate in the many events surrounding their arrival.
Continue reading for a brief history and details about what’s in store for the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival.
As an annual celebration, the Cherry Blossom Festival began from humble beginnings. Small ceremonies took place to commemorate the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The first ceremony, which took place on March 27, 1912, was simply the planting of the first two trees from Japan by then First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese ambassador. Each year since, the United States and Japan have exchanged gifts, including flowering dogwood trees from the US to the people of Japan in 1915.
Every year since First Lady Taft’s involvement, it has been a tradition for the First Lady to be involved in the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. All First Ladies have been proponents of the festival, serving as honorary chairs, taking part in planting ceremonies and greeting guests at opening ceremonies.
Today, the Cherry Blossom Festival encompasses four weekends and draws more than 1.5 million people.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival takes place every year throughout the city of Washington DC. A celebration of the gift of the cherry trees and our country’s friendship with Japan, the festival features hundreds of events and activities that spans four weeks and includes parades, concerts, art and much more.
2022: There will be in-person events at the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival as well as a variety of virtual and accessible options for those who wish to celebrate spring from home and across the globe.
This year’s kick-off to the Cherry Blossom Festival will be on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. at Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street, NW & via livestream where world-famous performers will entertain guests. Tickets are free, but require online registrations.
One of the festival’s most popular events, the Kite Festival celebrates spring and 52 years of kite flying. It’s a great opportunity to partake in this long standing tradition and share your experience with your family and friends. Submit your beautiful homemade kite into the Kitemaker’s Competition that takes place on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Guests may also fly their own kites in the safety of their backyard or neighborhood park.
Register by: March 24, 2022.
When: March 26-27, 2022.
The energy-filled Parade runs for 10 blocks along iconic Constitution Avenue Northwest. Grand colorful helium balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers, and performers burst down the Parade route in a spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the Festival!
When: April 9, 2022.
Celebrate spring at the National Cherry Blossom Festival‘s Petalpalooza for a full day of live music and engaging activities!
When: April 16, 2022
There is so much to see, do and participate in during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s a good idea to take advantage of the convenience of the Old Town Trolley. While on the trolley tour, you’ll be transported all over the city, including some of the spots where the festivities will be taking place. The trolley tour also eliminates the need for driving around the city and trying to find parking. Book your tour in advance to secure a seat during this busy time of year.
The annual Cherry Blossom Festival brings joy and excitement to the city unlike any other event all year. For those visiting during this time period, there are many activities, parties and events to enjoy. For more information about the festival, including dates, times and ticket information, visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s website.