Washington DC Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC
The Washington DC Cherry Blossoms and the Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC are one of the spring events hundreds of thousands of people (DC residents as well as guests)
are looking forward to. Very early in March the National Park Service publishes the most likely peak time for the DC Cherry Blossoms. In 2012 we will hear that announcement on March 1st. You can find this year's and
the past years' cherry blossom times on the Cherry Blossom Schedule.
Some of the highlights during the annual cherry blossoms DC are the National Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC and the Blossom Kite Festival. For the baseball fans, Opening Day for the
Washington Nationals falls in the period of the Cherry Blossom Festival. In 2012, Opening Day is April 12th against the Cincinnati Reds.
2012 is a very special year for the Cherry Blossoms DC: It's been 100 (!!) years since the city of Tokyo, Japan, presented this wonderful gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to our Nation's Capital. Yukio Ozaki, the then major of Tokyo, donated the trees on March 27, 1912, in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between his country and the United States. The purpose was also to celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations. In a ceremony on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of the 3,000 trees on the North bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. All of the Tidal Basin is surrounded by wonderful trees, which also extend toward the Washington Monument after the Japenese gave then First Lady Lady Bird Johnson 3,800 more Yoshino trees in 1965. These trees were actually all grown in the United States and many of them were then planted on the grounds of the Washington Monument. In 2011 - and therefore starting with the 2012 DC Cherry Blossoms season - you will also find cherry blossom trees around the Martin Luther King Memorial DC.
The history of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC dates back to 1935, when the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held - organized by numerous civic groups. Check out events being held during the Cherry Blossom Festival Washington DC. The 2012 festival will be held from March 20 - April 27, 2012.
Another highlight of the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms season is the Blossom Kite Festival, which usually takes place right on the first weekend of the Cherry Blossoms Festival. In 2012 that means the Kite Festival will be on Saturday, March 31, 2012 with Sunday, April 1, 2012 being the 'rain date'. It will be just the 2nd time that we celebrate the Kite Festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument at Constitution Avenue & 17th Street, NW (map) and showcase the creativity of kite makers and the skills of fabulous kite fliers from not just across the U.S., but also from other countries. A variety of competitions and demonstrations will take place during this one-day event. The two most popular ones are the 'Hot Tricks Showdown' and the 'Rokkaku Battle'. If you don't particpate in the competitions, you can still have plenty of fun (other than watching the 'experts'). Just bring your own kite or - if you or your children want to make your own kite, come to an activity station and build-your-own-kite (as long as supplies last). Then head over to the Public Field to fly your kite. There is no charge to fly your kite on the Public Field. However, if you plan to fly your kite in the 'Kite Maker Competition', the 'Hot Tricks Showdown', the 'Mini Rokkaku Challenge', or the 'Rokkaku Battle', kite makers, kite fliers and kite clubs must register. Just come to the Registration Tent on the day of the event and sign up.
Registration hours for the 'Adult Kite Maker Competition' the are from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM and from 10:30 AM - 1:00 PM for the 'Youth Kite Maker Competition' on the day of the competition.
For more information about the Kite Festival as well as the Washington DC Cherry Blossoms Festival, you can contact the info line for the National Cherry Blossom Festival at 877.44.BLOOM (877.442.5666).
Schedule is subject to change and dependent on wind and weather conditions
10:30 AM - 10:40 AM Opening remarks, First launch of the Centennial Blossom Kite Arch
10:40 AM - 11:00 AM Kite Ballets & Demonstrations
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Adult Kite Maker Competition (Hand-made kites only)
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM Kite Ballets & Demonstrations
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Youth Kite Maker Competition (Hand-made kites only)
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Hot Tricks Showdown
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Mini Rokkaku Battle
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Rokkaku Battle
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Centennial Blossom Kite Arch & Themed Kites
The Kite Festival includes 4 areas for you to explore and enjoy:
- The Competition & Demonstration Field,
- The Kite Club Display Area,
- The Activity Tents and
- The Public Field