Celebrations for the National Cherry Blossom Festival run from March 20-April 14.
Every spring, a visual and natural gift is given to the public of DC as the beloved Cherry Blossom trees—gifted to America by the people of Japan in 1912—begin to flower. (This year, peak bloom along the tidal basin is March 26-30, but the festival runs from March 20-April 14.) As you take in the sights, be sure to experience the great events that the National Cherry Blossom Festival has to offer.
Pink Tie Party: Kicking off this year’s festival is the signature Pink Tie Party on Wednesday, March 20, where guests don pink apparel and raise funds to support the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s programs and efforts. From 7-11 pm, indulge in cherry blossom-themed bites and cocktails from some of the region’s top restaurants at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel. Tickets ($200) can be purchased online. 999 9th St. NW, 202-661-7567
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade: One of the largest springtime parades in the city takes place on Saturday, April 13 from 10 am-12 pm, rain or shine. The televised parade, stretching down Constitution Ave NW from 7th to 17th streets, will showcase lively performers, marching bands from across the country, elaborately decorated floats, and giant balloons with vibrant cherry blossom décor. Grandstand seating is available for $20 per person or enjoy the event free of charge by standing along the parade route. For tickets and information, call 800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com.
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival: After you’ve watched the floats roll by on April 13, head to 12th Street and Pennsylvania NW to take in a full day of Japanese culture and cuisine at the largest Japanese cultural event in the United States. Hosted by The Japan-America Society of Washington DC, the mile-long street festival will boast art exhibitions, dance and musical performances, food, and more. Purchase tickets ($5) at sakuramatsuri.org or at the festival entrance. Call 202-833-2210 for more information.
Have more time? Find additional events at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.