Cherry Blossom activities taking place around Washington D.C.

Laura Mata

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Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Tidal Basin brings many people from all over to experience the beauty of Cherry Blossoms.

Every year between the last week of March and the first week of April, cherry blossom season begins. Cherry blossoms have multiple traditional meanings; a symbol of spring, a time of renewal, and the momentary nature of life. After about two weeks, the blossoms begin to fall. To the Japanese, Cherry blossoms symbolize birth and death, as well as beauty and violence.

The National Cherry Blossom festival is a four week long cultural festival held across Washington, D.C. Families from all over come to experience one or more of the Cherry Blossom activities both indoors and outdoors.

Ten blocks along Constitution Avenue Northwest is where the National Cherry Blossom Parade is held. As you approach the street, detailed floats and colorful balloons will catch your eye. You’ll begin marching bands from across the country along with performers, even celebrity entertainers. Parts of the parade have free admission and are for the public to view on a first come first serve basis. However, there are tickets that can be purchased to reserve grandstand seating in the performance areas within the parade.

To share a love of Japanese culture you can make your way downtown to Pennsylvania Avenue where you will find yourself allured by the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival. Many people contribute to this festival in different aspects. Promoting cultural diversity through food and entertainment brings thousands of visitors for a good cause; some proceeds are used to support the programs of the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. It is advised to purchase your tickets online in advance, children 12 and under are free.

The Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 mile run was founded in 1973. The event originally began as a training course for elite runners planning to compete in the Boston Marathon. Over time the race progressed into a local race for all runners competing to win a prize of $45,000. The race is annually scheduled on the first Sunday of April to correspond with the blooming of the Cherry Blossoms. The course includes various landmarks of D.C. including the Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Washington Monument, Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memories, the Watergate complex, and the Tidal Basin.

If you are interested in an indoor Cherry Blossom activity The ARTECHOUSE annually holds a spring inspired exhibition called “PIXELBLOOM.” The exhibition consists of 2 gallery’s and a media lab. The ARTECHOUSE website describes how the beauty of Cherry Blossoms are put on display in different ways, “Gallery 1 features a three-sided cherry blossom sculpture built from original CNC-routed surface design that is brought to life through vibrant interactive projection-mapped visuals; Gallery 2 will display a dynamic full-floor technicolor interactive installation of floating cherry trees; and the Media Lab will continue the impression of being afloat by showcasing a surreal interactive night forest in multi-layered surfaces designed to be illusory.” Tickets are $17-25 and free for children under the age of 4.