Key Event Dates – NBC4 Washington
This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will be in full bloom, hosting a variety of all-in-person events for the first time since the pandemic began.
The festival, which had been virtual for the past two years, will be held in person this year.
When is peak bloom for cherry blossoms?
The National Park Service estimated peak bloom to occur between March 22 and March 25. Peak bloom is defined as when approximately 70% of the Yoshino cherry trees along the Tidal Basin are in bloom at the same time.
Storm Team4 meteorologist Amelia Draper explains how the weather affects when cherry blossoms peak in bloom.
When is the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
The festival is scheduled from March 20 to April 17.
Organizers have also included COVID-sensitive events such as the Petal Porches program, when DC residents are encouraged to decorate their homes. This year’s program also includes a decorating competition. Those interested in participating can register for free on the festival website.
The Opening Ceremony and Pink Tie Party will require attendees to wear face masks and show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
If you don’t want to miss out on this year’s festivities, here’s a list of the festival’s most popular upcoming events.
What (and when) are the key events of the Cherry Blossom Festival?
The Cherry Blossom Festival includes multiple indoor and outdoor events, from performances to a parade to street festivals. Read on for some of the highlights, but you can find the full schedule on the festival’s website.
PIXELBLOOM: from March 12 to May 30
ARTECHOUSE DC’s upcoming PIXELBLOOM exhibit, opening March 12, will allow visitors to immerse themselves in a 22-minute audio-visual experience that aims to “breathe new life into cherry blossoms in full bloom through an explosion of color and of vibrant textures,” according to planners.
The exhibition will be open to people of all ages until May 30. Tickets ($16 to $25) are available online.
Opening Ceremony: March 20
The festival’s free opening ceremony will take place on March 20 at the Warner Theater, with performances ranging from samurai sword fighting to traditional Japanese folk music.
Attendees will be required to wear face masks at all times and will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. Those wishing to celebrate virtually can also tune in live on the festival’s YouTube channel. More information, including how to get tickets, can be found here.
Flower Kite Festival: March 26
The long-standing festival tradition of flying kites will take place March 26 on the grounds of the Washington Monument and other DC-area parks. The outdoor event is free and open to the public.
This year’s theme for the Kitemaker’s Competition, which will take place at the Washington Monument, is “Rediscovering Spring”. Learn more about contest entry, virtual celebration options, and the official festival kite here.
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade: April 9
This year’s parade will run 10 blocks along Constitution Avenue on April 9 from 10 a.m. to noon. Parts of the parade will be free but on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are currently available for reserved seating in the stands near the performance areas, according to the festival website.
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival: April 9-10
This year’s Japanese Sakura Matsuri street festival will take place over two days for the first time in its 60-year history, the festival’s website said.
The festival, which celebrates Japanese culture in the United States, will be held on April 9 and 10 along Pennsylvania Avenue, with exhibits and activities including the Beyond Tokyo pavilion, Ginza Marketplace, a cosplay contest and test drives. sake, as well as more than 20 Japanese food vendors.
Tickets are available now and are priced at $10 for a one-day pass and $15 for a two-day pass. The festival also offers special packages for families with young children.
Anacostia River Festival: April 10
The Anacostia River Festival will feature a variety of musical performances, including go-go music and local drum lines, on April 10. The free festival aims to honor “the history and sounds of communities on both sides of the Anacostia River and to amplify the stories, culture and heritage of neighboring African American residents.” The concerts will also be available live on 11th Street Bridge Park’s social media platforms. Visitors can also enjoy water activities such as canoeing and fishing. To register, visit the Bridge Park website here.
Petalpalooza: April 16
Petalpalooza, which takes place at DC Wharf, offers a full day of live music on multiple stages and engaging activities for the whole family. The free event is open to people of all ages and will include interactive art installations, a beer garden and family activities. The event will end with a fireworks display.
To learn more about other events and registration, visit the festival website here.