It’s almost time for the nation’s greatest springtime celebration: The National Cherry Blossom Festival!
Starting March 20th and continuing through April 14, 2019, the 2019 Festival commemorates the 107th anniversary of Tokyo’s gift of cherry blossom trees through shared experiences that showcase traditional arts and culture, our natural world, and a vibrant community. And of course there are many annual events that make this time of year particularly festive! Here are some of the annual favorite parties, events and festivities:
The Festival opens in style at the Pink Tie Party on Friday, March 22, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, before its official Opening Ceremony, co-presented with The Japan Foundation, on Saturday, March 23 at the Warner Theatre. At the Pink Tie Party, dress in style for an evening filled with delicious bites and cocktails from local restaurants, an open bar, unique entertainment, music and dancing, over-the-top decor, and the friendly competition of the silent auction. The Opening Ceremony features world-class talent from Japan and the U.S. on stage as well as remarks from politicians and stakeholders. Watch it as it streams live on Facebook (@CherryBlossomFestival).
Then plan to spend all of your weekends outdoors while the blossoms are in peak bloom!
The Blossom Kite Festival brings high-flying fun to the grounds of the Washington Monument on Saturday, March 30. Petalpalooza, a daylong fest of live music and fun, takes place the next weekend, Saturday, April 6th, at The Wharf, culminating in a fireworks show at 8:30 p.m.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade takes place the next Saturday, April 13th, from 10 a.m. to noon (a delayed telecast airs from noon – 2 p.m. on ABC7/WJLA). Grand Marshal Anthony Anderson, star of ABC sitcom black-ish will lead the procession of exciting performances, lavish floats, giant helium balloons, and dance troupes down Constitution Ave this year.
Make plans now to attend Cherry Blast at the MGM National Harbor on March 30th, where guests always enjoy dueling DJ’s, an open bar and other ‘cherrypicked’ fun. And don’t miss pop-sensation Meghan Trainor as she headlines the Blossom Bash concert presented by iHeartRadio at The Anthem on April 6th.
Organizations and partners offer dozens upon dozens of events and programs throughout the festival, including the SAAM Cherry Blossom Celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Saturday, March 23; the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival produced by The Japan-America Society of Washington, DC on Saturday, April 13; and the Anacostia River Festival on Sunday, April 14. You’ll find special exhibitions and installations at ARTECHOUSE, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Freer Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Newseum and more.
There’s so much to do! Watch for continuing coverage of the many events in The Current, and to take part, see a full calendar of official Festival events at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/all-events/