National Cherry Blossom Festival

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Page was last changed Mar 20th, 2012 @ 19:05:51

The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The festival celebrates the long lasting friendship between the United States and Japan.

2012 Highlights

This year will mark the 100 year anniversary of the event and below we have listed the core events, and ones to check out:

  • MARCH 25th: National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Cermony: (5pm) Free event with perfromances from Sara Bareilles, Japanese recording artist Misia, mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves-Montgomery, the Washington Ballet and many more, all taking place at the Walter E Washington Convention Center.

  • APRIL 7TH: Festival of water-related, cultural and familiy activites with special centennial fireworks. Held at Washington's Southwest Waterfront.

  • APRIL 13TH: Grand Ball at the Renaissance Wassington DC Hotel, The United States Cherry Blossom Queen will be crowned in a black tie event, tickets cost $150.

  • APRIL 14TH: The Japan-America Society will hold the annual Sakura Matsuri Street Festival, 11am-6pm including everything from food and beer vendores, arts and cultural activities, music and martial arts. Admission for adults is $5, children under 12 go free.

  • APRIL 14TH: National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade: (10am - 12:30pm) One of Washington's most exciting spring time traditions. Lavish floats, giant helium ballons, marching bands and many performers put on a high energy and very colourful parade. It's free for all to watch along the parade route, and costs $20 for Grandstand seating,Parade route can be found here Tickets can be found on Ticketmaster.

  • APRIL 21ST: Cherry Blast Art + Music Dance Party, a warehouse in Anacostia, $10 admission fee which includes on drink.


  • Freer and Sacker Galleries: Free exhibitions devoted to Japanese artist Hokusai

  • National Gallery Of Art: (Mar 30th - April 29th) a 30-scroll set of bird and flower paintings on silk, called “Colorful Realm of Living Beings,” by 18th century artist Ito Jakuchu. Bare in mind this the first time all scrolls have been shown outside of Japan.

  • The US National Arboretum: contains almost 1,600 cherry trees which will bloom in Mid march and are a sight to see.

  • To mark the centennial, The Embassy of Japan will be helping to plant cherry trees in over 35 cities across the United States.

Further Information

There are tons of websites dedicated to the festival, a quick Google search should help you find more information, especially regarding tickets for the above mentioned events.