WASHINGTON - The National Cherry Blossom Festival has pushed back its Opening Ceremony by a day from Saturday, March 24, to Sunday, March 25.
Festival organizers say that due to anticipated crowds expected in downtown DC for the March for Our Lives, which was scheduled for March 24, the Opening Ceremony will now be on March 25 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Organizers say out of consideration for ticketholders and performers, they looked at reported crowd estimates, road closures, and spoke to city officials and agencies to make their decision.
They also say the Warner Theatre, where the performance is being held, is in close proximity to where the March for Our Lives is taking place.
"We hope this decision will allow all of our guests to have efficient and convenient access to the Opening Ceremony," said Cherry Blossom Festival organizers.
This year's performances will include Japanese singer and performer T.M. Revolution, singer Akiko Yano, The 6821 Quintet, Shodo Girls from Fukuoka Prefectural Yahata Chuo High School and Japanese drumming group Miyako Taiko.
National Parks Service officials say peak bloom is now likely to occur from March 27 through March 31.