Cherry Blossom Celebrations 2022

Cherry Blossoms Around the Tidal Basin. Photo by Renee Sklarew

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the world’s most colorful celebrations of spring. Beginning on March 20 through April 17, the 2022 Festival will include four weeks of events promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.  

The Opening Ceremony is held Sunday, March 20 at the Warner Theatre in cooperation with The Japan Foundation. There will be performers from Japan and the U.S. marking the 110th anniversary of “The Gift of Trees” – when the City of Tokyo gifted 100 trees to Washington DC in 1912.

“Who would have known that this gift would have become one of the greatest celebrations of spring,” says Diana Mayhew the executive director and CEO of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. “It’s a beautiful time in Washington D.C. A time of joy, renewal and hope.” 

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is April 16, 2022. Photo By Renee Sklarew

The public is invited to watch the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 9, the city’s largest spectator event with more than 1,000 community groups marching along Constitution Avenue accompanied by bands, dance teams, floats and giant balloons. Look for the iconic giant pandas, Japanese lanterns, pink flowers, cartoon characters and celebrities. 

The Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the Gift of Trees from Japan. There are lots of events that celebrate the friendship between our two nations.

If you can’t make it to see the trees around the National Mall, you can be part of the event by decorating your own porch, flying a kite, planting a tree, or going on an ART WALK to pose with one of the blossom sculptures poised around town. These are five-foot sculptures shaped like a giant cherry blossom and designed by local artists. Find a map at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

The annual Cherry Blossom Kite Festival is on Saturday, March 26, 2022 from 10:00 – 4:30 p.m. on Constitution Avenue and 17th Street NW. I recommend you take the Metro train  due to road closures for citywide events. More information is available here.  

“Everyone can celebrate in their own special way, explains Mayhew. “They can decorate their porches or visit the cherry blossom trees planted all over the city. We’ve taken the celebration beyond the Tidal Basin and throughout the community.” 

PetalPalooza at the Capitol Riverfront is April 16, 2022. Photo by Renee Sklarew

There’s also the annual PetalPalooza on April 16 at Yards Park on the Capitol Riverfront.  This day-long celebration brings art and music, to multiple outdoor stages, all along the banks of the Anacostia River. The evening is capped by a 15 minute fireworks show set to music starting at 8:30 PM

The peak bloom in Washington is expected around March 26 of this year. You can check the Bloom-Cam on the National Park Service’s CherryBlossomWatch.com to find out how the trees are progressing.  

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Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.

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