Even though I have lived in DC for nearly four years, I still get ridiculously excited as I wait for the spring Cherry Blossom season. Did you know that there are people who dream JUST ONCE of seeing Washington, DC transformed into a pink snowstorm?
To get the most reliable updates, I subscribe to the DC Cherry Blossom watch on my Instagram feed. My heart breaks for the people who plan their big DC trip in the winter and then learn that the peak blossoms will be earlier or later than predicted.
“Bloom baby bloom,” wrote @hughester.
I also love the spelling mistake in another Instagrammer who wants to be there for “peek bloom.”
And honestly it does feel like the Yoshino cherry blossoms “peek” out and smile with their dazzling pink-tinged white blossoms. As a regular walker on the Tidal Basin, I love to watch the cherry trees change from their spindly branches, barren of color, in winter to glints of green as the first buds plump out.
Next emerge the “florets” and the “peduncle elongation.” By March 30, I saw full on puffy white as the trees hit peak bloom this year (about a week earlier than predicted). The annual return of National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC never fails to excite me. Suddenly the avenues on the National Mall are filled with the pink placards announcing the celebration. People pull out their pink t-shirts. You see a lot of engaged couples being photographed.
On March 30, the sky were filled with kites dancing in the wind on The National Monument grounds. This will be followed a week later with a spectacular fireworks show by Pyrotecnico on the Southwest Waterfront. And on April 13, Constitution Avenue will be packed with tourists and residents who come to see the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®.
During the peak bloom period, I try to avoid the crowds by arriving at sunrise. I love to stand under the branches of the sheltering Yoshino trees, sniff the air and catch a petal floating slowly to the ground – marveling at the winged floral fairy. As Issa Kobayashi wrote, “What a strange thing to be alive beneath cherry blossoms.”
Major events during the National Cherry Blossom Festival include: Pink Tie Party; Blossom Kite Festival; Petalpalooza; and Parade. The ANA Stage presents performances during the Festival that demonstrate cross-cultural exchange through a dynamic mix of American, Japanese, and other cultural performing arts.
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