The 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off tomorrow and will run through will April 15. There are a number of events and activities planned for that period, including the Blossom Kite Festival on March 31st. It is held at the base of the Washington Monument and includes competitive battle and tricks competitions but is also an opportunity to bring your own kite or, for kids, to make one on site.
PetalPalooza. Saturday, April 7. Entry is free. Hosted at the newly constructed Wharf area (formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront), this afternoon and evening festival includes a range of entertainment and eating options capped by evening fireworks along the waterfront.
Photo Credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Parade is April 14th. The parade runs along Constitution Avenue between the National Archives building and the Washington Monument and features performers, marching bands, giant balloons, and floats, many related to the general cherry blossom theme.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is typically scheduled around the average peak bloom date. The hope is that the blossoms will come out at some point during the festival, but there’s no guarantee of that and it’s unlikely they’ll be out for the duration. In 2014 and 2015 the peak bloom fell right at the end of the festival. In 2016 and 2017, with the early bloom, it fell right at the beginning of the festival–they even moved the opening of the 2017 festival at the last minute to accommodate an expected early bloom.
In recent years the festival has been extended to run across several weeks, which increases the chances that the peak bloom will fall within the festival dates, but it’s never guaranteed – we are playing with Mother Nature by the way!