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Washington D.C. Gears Up For Cherry Blossom Season. See All You Need To Know

To herald the iconic blossoms, the nation’s capital has prepared several weeks of events, including a parade, concerts and fireworks for both locals and visitors who flood the city annually for the Cherry Blossom Festival.

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Cherry Blossom Festival
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As spring approaches, so does the eagerly anticipated cherry blossom season in the nation's capital. Washington D.C. officials are gearing up for what they predict will be a spectacular year for the city's iconic pink blooms. The Cherry Blossom Festival, a cherished tradition, is set to kick off with several weeks of festivities, including parades, concerts, and fireworks, attracting both locals and visitors alike.

According to organizers, hotel reservation numbers indicate that tourist numbers are expected to reach 1.5 million for the first time since before the pandemic, reflecting a resurgence in travel and interest in the annual event.

Here's what you need to know about Washington's cherry blossom season:

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Peak Bloom Forecast

National Park Service officials estimate that peak bloom will occur between March 23 and March 26, lasting for approximately 10 days. During this time, around 70% of the city's 3,700 cherry trees will be in full bloom. The cherry blossom season as a whole is expected to span from March 20 to April 14.

Best Viewing Spots

While the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial offers the highest concentration of cherry trees and is a popular spot for viewing, cherry blossoms can be found scattered throughout the city's neighborhoods. Officials recommend utilizing public transportation due to limited parking availability.

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Planned Events

The Cherry Blossom Festival features a diverse array of events, including the Blossom Kite Festival, the Cherry Blossom Parade, and the Petalpalooza music and arts festival, culminating in fireworks at the Capital Riverfront. Participating restaurants also offer cherry blossom-themed specialties for visitors to enjoy.

Also do you know that Washington's cherry trees were gifted by the mayor of Tokyo in 1912, symbolizing the enduring friendship between the United States and Japan. The Japanese Embassy remains actively involved in the festival, with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida scheduled to make an official visit to Washington during the festivities.

Officials attribute the earlier bloom times to climate change, with steadily rising temperatures causing peak bloom to occur slightly earlier each year. A hotter-than-usual January disrupted the trees' normal winter dormancy period, resulting in earlier flowering. Additionally, rising sea levels pose a threat to the hundreds of cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, highlighting the urgent need for environmental conservation efforts.

As Washington D.C. prepares to welcome visitors from around the world, the cherry blossoms serve as a vibrant reminder of the beauty of nature and the enduring spirit of friendship and goodwill

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