I’m imagining that going to the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC may be one of this country’s best springtime trips ever. This year, in 2015, the festival is from March 20 to April 12.
I have not been there yet, but it is on my list of places to go. It no doubt it is magnificent and breathtaking – how could it not be. Of course, the event is scheduled to coincide when the blossoms are in bloom, which can be a bit challenging to predict.
Here’s what the National Cherry Blossom Festival website says –
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to coincide as nearly as possible with the blooming of the trees. Peak Bloom Date is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees are open. The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. The mean date of blooming is April 4, but nature is not always cooperative and the National Park Service horticulturists cannot make an accurate prediction much more than 10 days prior. The blooming period starts several days before the Peak Bloom Date and can last as long as 14 days; however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind and/or rain can shorten this period…
The festival has a list of events for visitors to enjoy in addition to the historic cherry blossoms, even an opening ceremony.
The Washington monument during the cherry blossom festival –
close up of the blossoms along the Tidal Basin, with a back drop of the Jefferson Memorial –
There is an interesting history of how those cherry trees got to Washington – from concept to what it is today, you can check it out here. It includes a gesture of friendship from the country of Japan which gifted thousands of cherry trees. Presently, there are surviving original trees, from the first planting in 1912. There were many varieties of cherry trees that were planted, so there are likely many shades of pinks, and white, too.
I think that the opportunity to walk the promenades, and sit on a park bench while taking in the beauty of the scenery would be quite memorable – that ‘stop and smell the roses’, or flowers, or cherry blossoms, sort of thing.
Here’s wishing you a springtime trip to the National Cherry Blossom Festival!