Celebrate the annual Cherry Blossom festival


Photo by Sasha Sampaio

The DMV is known for its cherry blossoms, seen here in Washington, D.C., on Mar. 19.

Each year the Cherry Blossom Festival, taking place this year from Mar. 18 to Apr. 16, commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C..

The festival is held each year to celebrate the history and beauty of D.C.’s cherry blossoms with City Cruises along the Potomac River. Whether on dining and sightseeing cruises, or aboard the Cherry Blossom Water Taxi, avoid the crowds and take a view of the trees from the water.The taxi departs from The Wharf, Georgetown, Alexandria and National Harbor.
The Cherry Hunt is an interactive experience for festival-goers to connect with local restaurants. During the months of March and April, locals, tourists and foodies scatter throughout D.C. and the surrounding areas to visit Cherry Pick restaurants, try new foods and drinks.

Senior Keanu Yi went to visit the cherry blossoms over the weekend with his family. Yi said, “There was a lot do to and see and afterwards me and my family went to a restaurant around the area.”

During the Cherry Blossom Festival season, there is an exclusive two hour guided bike tour. Attendees are able to view the Nation’s Capital at its peak while biking through the pink and white blossoms surrounding the Potomac Tidal Basin to East Potomac Park. Along the way bikers pass the monuments and memorials along the National Mall.

Each year the National Park Service predicts the peak of the cherry blossoms blooming. The average peak bloom date, which is when 70% of the flowers of the cherry blossom trees are open, is around Apr. 4.

The entire blooming period can last up to 14 days, which includes the days leading up to peak bloom. The best viewing of the cherry blossom trees typically lasts four to seven days after peak bloom begins.

The most popular place to visit the cherry blossom trees is at the Tidal Basin, which provides great photo opportunities near the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. The majority of blossoms are located in this area and along the shoreline of East Potomac Park, which extends all the way to Hains Point.
Meanwhile, small clusters of trees can be found along the National Mall, just northwest of the Lincoln Memorial and around the Washington Monument. Off-the-radar cherry blossom trees can be found at the National Arboretum, Anacostia Park, Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, Stanton Park, and Oxon Run Park. Visitors can get to the cherry blossoms by bike, Metro or walking through all of D.C.’s cherry blossom spots.

Senior Shelby Parsons goes every year with her family to visit the cherry blossom trees. “I love going to D.C. and seeing the pretty trees and flowers everywhere,” Parsons said.

Junior Lily King went this year for the first time. “It was so beautiful and I loved seeing everyone come together to view nature,” King said.

Visitors can assist the effort to preserve and protect D.C,’s cherry blossom trees through the Trust for the National Mall’s Adopt a Cherry Tree campaign.