Cherry Blossoms on target for a peak bloom of March 23 despite near-freezing temperatures

- Rejoice cherry blossom lovers!

This weekend's cold weather did not affect the Tidal Basin's cherry blossom trees!

Peak bloom is still on target for March 23 despite near-freezing temperatures, the National Park Service (NPS) said.

Temperatures are expected to reach near-freezing Monday night, but NPS says it will not affect peak bloom. In past years, unusually warm or cold temperatures have resulted in peak bloom as early as March 15 and as late as April 18, according to NPS. The average date for blooming is April 4.

Once the trees reach peak bloom, the blossoms can remain on the trees for 4-10 days, according to NPS.

This year's National Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off Sunday and runs through April 17. In 1994 the National Cherry Blossom Festival was expanded from one week to two weeks, according to NPS.

Here are some festival dates to keep in mind:

Saturday, March 26: The official opening ceremony features performances at the Warner Theatre (513 13th St. NW). Tickets are free but are required to attend; see the festival website.

Saturday, April 2: The Blossom Kite Festival, a family-favorite tradition, has competitions and demonstrations. Open kite flying is welcome on the Public Field. Bring your own kite, or children can make a kite to fly at an activity station (while supplies last).

Saturday, April 9: The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival

Saturday, April 16: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade boasts a 10-block-long lineup of balloons, bands and all things pink.

Saturday, April 16: After the parade, six blocks near Capitol Hill turn into a celebration of Japanese culture with food, performances and more during the Sakura Matsuri Festival.

Sunday April 17: The National Park Service and 11th Street Bridge Park will present the Anacostia River Festival.

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