WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The famous cherry blossom trees have been a fixture in the nation's capital for over 100 years with their beautiful blooms drawing visitors and crowds from across the area – and the world! To celebrate, the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 to April 17 this year.
Many people around D.C. were excited for Monday’s Cherry Blossom news, including the announcement that the Cherry Blossom Festival will return this year after COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel the event last year.
Officials ask that attendees be vaccinated against COVID-19 and anyone experiencing COVID-like symptoms to choose a digital option to enjoy the festival.
Here's everything you need to know about this year's festival:
This year’s predictions say peak bloom will be March 22 through March 25. Typically, the trees reach peak bloom in early April – but nature doesn't always cooperate! In 2021, the trees reached peak bloom at the end of March after unseasonably warm weather.
The best days to see the cherry blossoms in DC the week of March 20
Schedule of Events
Opening Ceremony, Sunday, March 20, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
The Opening Ceremony is a celebration of the 1912 gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., and an annual tribute to the longstanding friendship between Japan and the United States. It will feature special performances from acclaimed artists with ties to both countries.
Credit Union Cherry Blossom Virtual Run, Sunday, March 20 - Sunday, April 17
Run or walk 10 or 5K miles through your favorite cherry blossom locations in D.C., or anywhere worldwide during the dates of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Art in Bloom, Sunday, March 20 - Sunday, April 17
The Giant Cherry Blossom sculptures are returning in 2022 to permanent locations, in all eight wards and beyond.
Blossom Kite Festival, Saturday, March 26, 10 a.m - 4:30 p.m.
The Blossom Kite Festival is a long-standing DC tradition encouraging attendees of all ages to fly kites among the cherry blossom trees. Kite flying will take place on the Washington Monument grounds, at featured parks and at home in 2022.
Cherry Blossom Night, Tuesday, March 29, 7 - 9:30 p.m.
The Washington Wizards will take on the Chicago Bulls in a special cherry blossom-themed basketball game.
Petalpalooza Art Walk, Friday, April 1 - Sunday, April 17
Check out new installations across the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood with local and national artists creating new creative interpretations of the blossoms.
Official Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony, Sunday, April 3, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
This ceremony includes remarks by top U.S. officials and Japanese diplomats as well as traditional songs and music performed by the Toho Koto Society of Washington DC and the Washington DC Choral Society.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
The annual parade runs for 10 blocks along Constitution Avenue NW with colorful balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands from across the country, celebrity entertainers and performers joining in on the festivities.
Anacostia River Festival, Sunday, April 10, 1 - 4 p.m.
The eighth annual festival is a celebration of Anacostia River, Park and Neighborhood. It will present a series of musical performances, honoring the history and sounds of communities on both sides of the Anacostia River and amplifying the stories, culture and heritage of neighboring African American residents.
Petalpalooza, Saturday, April 16, 1 - 9 p.m.
This day-long all-ages celebration brings art, music and play to multiple outdoor stages, interactive art installations, a beer garden, family-friendly hands-on activities, fireworks and more, all along the banks of the Anacostia River.
Pink Tie Dinner Party, Thursday, April 28, 6:30 - 10:30 p.m.
Don your finest pink attire and enjoy a cocktail reception featuring a sushi and sake tasting, a dinner of culinary delights crafted by TCMA executive chef Houman Gohary and an after party with dancing, music and the exciting conclusion of the silent auction.
PIXELBLOOM, Saturday, March 12 - Monday, May 30
Experience a virtual world of cherry blossoms brought to life at ARTECHOUSE.
For a full list of events, click here.
Traffic, Transportation and Parking
Due to extremely limited public parking, the National Park Service strongly recommends all visitors take Metro or bike to the festival.
Nine Capital Bikeshare stations are available within the National Mall to provide another transportation option. Scooters and e-bikes must be parked in one of 19 designated areas around the National Mall.
D.C. Circulator service is also available around the Tidal Basin, via the National Mall route.
Handicapped parking is designated on West Basin Drive at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.
From Saturday, March 19 through Sunday, April 3, Ohio Drive SW through West Potomac Park will be one-way only (westbound) between Inlet Bridge and 23rd Street SW.