D.C. residents in general and Colonels in particular know that it’s officially spring when “the nation’s greatest springtime celebration,” the National Cherry Blossom Festival, rolls around. What embodies springtime cheer more than the cotton candy pink blossoms adorning the branches of trees that line so many of Washington’s streets?
History of the Festival and Cherry Trees in D.C.
In addition to being a joyful celebration of nature’s beauty, the festival is also a tribute to Japanese culture and heritage and the long-standing ties between Japan and the U.S. That’s because the iconic trees were given to the United States Government as a gift from Japan in 1912. They symbolize friendship between the two nations and the cyclical nature of life.
What to See and Do at the National Cherry Blossom Festival
As the cherry blossoms pop at this time of year, D.C. comes alive. But blossom season only comes around once a year, and ends as soon as the blossoms begin to fall to the ground, making way for the leaves that will follow. If there’s ever a truly “D.C. moment”–apart from important political developments–this is it. Whether you’re new in town or you’re a long-time resident, don’t miss your opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and celebrate the coming of spring along with your friends and neighbors.
From now until April 12, enjoy a series of fun blossom-themed events and festivities. Here are some highlights we’re looking forward to:
April 4: Blossoms and Baseball. Take advantage of discounted tickets and the festival-induced D.C. pride and support your Washington Nationals against the New York Yankees. $5 of your ticket price will be donated to the festival; get them before they sell out!
April 4: Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival. Eight hours of music, food, water and cultural activities, live entertainment and a glorious fireworks show to top it all off.
April 10: 2015 Official Cherry Blossom Grand Ball & Sushi Reception. Enjoy a meal of sushi and sake in the company of the Cherry Blossom princesses and guests from Japan. Then sit back and enjoy the crowning of the 2015 Cherry Blossom Queen.
April 11: National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®. The annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is one of the largest spectator events in Washington D.C. and is a beloved tradition of the festival. Featuring marching bands, impressive parade floats, balloons and more, this event is must-attend attraction for people of all ages.
From now until April 12: Ranger-led programs. Take a walk with a park ranger to learn more about D.C.’s iconic blooms and the history of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Themed tours including bike, running, and lantern tours are also available.
These are just a few of the highly-anticipated festival events; check out the full calendar to plan your Cherry Blossom Festival itinerary. Planning a move to D.C.? Don’t delay and miss out on D.C.’s biggest celebration of the year. Contact us to find your new home at The Colonel.
Image Source: Flickr