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Blooming Marvels: The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, 2023

When you see the cherry bunds, you know that spring is finally here! The cherry blooming celebrations of nature's beauty and renewal bring people together from all walks of life to enjoy the magnificent display of pink and white blooms that signal the arrival of spring. From the shores of Japan to the bustling streets of Washington, DC, these festivals capture the essence of community, friendship, and cultural exchange. Whether a local resident or a visitor from afar, you will surely be charmed by the cheerful atmosphere and infectious joy surrounding these delightful events. So come along and join us as we celebrate the splendor of cherry blossoms and the vibrant spirit of the season!

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By Eglė

Published: Mar 11, 2023 min read

Blooming Marvels: The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, 2023

Everyone knows that Japan is famous for its cherry blossom festivals. However, the elegance of nature’s beauty influenced many countries too. This beautiful event is widely celebrated in every continent of the world. But today, let’s talk about the national cherry blossom festival in Washington, DC. 

The fabulous National Cherry Blossom Festival is held every year in  Washington D.C. to honor the special bond between the U.S. and Japan, all thanks to the Mayor of Tokyo's generosity in gifting over 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the District back in 1912. And let's not forget about the National Cherry Blossom Festival's humble beginnings, when it was born in 1982 under the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission's watchful eye. The first festival was held in Third Street Park, where they celebrated Mr. Fickling's birthday on March 23rd. And guess what, folks? That's the exact day when the Yoshino cherry trees are at their peak blooming!

The Cherry Blossom Festival is about spreading love, embracing beauty, and making international friendships. Thousands of visitors flock to the waterfront daily to witness the stunning cherry blossom trees in all their glory and marvelous beauty. And with over one million people expected to join in on the festivities over the weeks of the festival! 

RatePunk National cherry blossom festival in Washington

The National Cherry Blossom celebration 2023 will occur in D.C. from March 18 through April 16. And the theme is “Spring It On!”. Sounds lovely, isn’t it? And if you're ready to witness nature's magic, come down to Tibal Basin. It is one of the most popular places for the national cherry blossom festival in Washington, D.C. Also, the National Park Service announced that this year the trees would reach peak bloom between March 22 and 25. No worries if you won't make it or can't go there. You can spectate the beauty via BLOOMCAM. I was surprised to find that there is a live cam that films cherry trees. 

Events during The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. 

Like every marvelous celebration, the national cherry blossom festival has the opening ceremony on March 25 (Saturday) at 5 p.m. After that, the stage will be lit up by the electrifying performances of J-pop sensation Travis Japan, the melodious tunes of Anna Sato and Toshiyuki Sasaki, the mesmerizing jazz beats of marimbist Mika Stoltzman, and the delightful classical melodies of the PETÆL duo featuring Miray Ito and Benedict Kloeckners. 

Get ready to bust out your pink paint because the Petal Porches event is here! Starting March 20, you can register to decorate your home with gorgeous pink flowers and win amazing prizes for the best-decorated block, porch, and most popular porch. So show off your floral flair and get in on the fun!

On March 16, wear your fanciest pink tie and join the Pink Tie party at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Feast on delicious food, sip on tasty drinks, groove to some awesome tunes, and prepare for a fabulous runway performance by drag queens. It's sure to be a night to remember!

And for all the art lovers out there, on March 17, the Japan Information & Culture Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan, is presenting "Blossoming Flowers in Japanese Art and Poetry." So get ready to feast your eyes on beautiful paintings from the Embassy's private collection and check out some amazing haikus and visual art from talented DC-area students.

What's more, on March 20, the festival starts with a virtual 10-mile race, a food scavenger hunt, and more beautiful flowers. So take advantage of the chance to soak up the springtime vibes and celebrate in style!

Finally, after a three-year break due to the pandemic, on April 15, the national cherry blossom festival parade is ready to party harder than ever before. And let me tell you, this year's parade will be one for the books! There will be Minnie and Mickey Mouse from Walt Disney World, Lisa Ann Walter, the legendary 90s music group C+C Music Factory and Carson KressleyTickets for the parade are available now, starting at just $25, so grab them while they're hot!

congressional cemetery photo made by dan mall. RatePunk writes about the National cherry blossom festival in Washington

If you prefer to avoid crowded places, you should better avoid walking around Tidal Basin to see marvelous cherry blossoms. There are several alternative and least crowed locations for cherry blossoms in Washington, DC. 

#1 Dumbarton Oaks | Cherry Hill in Georgetown is the spot to get your fill of gorgeous cherry blossoms and other stunning spring blooms like grape hyacinths and magnolia trees. The best part? You can stroll through the gardens without spending a penny until March 14, with fewer crowds! But don't dilly-dally because, after March 14, you'll need a ticket to get in the garden.

#2 Hains Point Loop Trail | Take a stroll, a jog, or hop on your bike and take a four-mile ride through a picturesque route to admire the cherry blossoms. The leveled pathway offers a stunning view of various cherry trees and the breathtaking Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. Again, one more alternative to celebrate the national cherry blossom festival outside crowds. 

#3 Rose Park | Looking for a peaceful spot to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms without being bombarded by camera-toting tourists? Look no further than Georgetown Rose Park! This hidden gem offers a tranquil setting to sit back and admire the delicate pastel blooms of the cherry trees.

#4 National Cathedral | Check out the Bishop's Garden, where cherry trees reign supreme. This walled-in wonderland is a peaceful spot to take in the delicate blossoms, with fountains and a stone gazebo adding to the serene vibe. Again, not a very popular and crowded location. 

#5 National Arboretum | Want to see more than just the classic pink cherry blossoms? The Arboretum is the place to go! With over 70 different types of cherry trees, you can feast your eyes on a stunning array of colors and shapes. You'll find a favorite, from the deep pink Okame blooms to the graceful weeping trees. And don't worry about getting lost - download the botanical garden's app for a three-mile, self-guided tour of the blossoms. Happy exploring!
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Mar 11, 2023

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