It's never too early to start thinking about the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The 2017 fest is officially set for March 20 through April 16, and planners have revealed dates for the festival's key events.
While it's still too early to know whether the fest will coincide with the blooming of the cherry blossoms alongside the Tidal Basin, they usually overlap at least a bit.
Organizers met Thursday night at the Smithsonian American Art Museum to preview events planned for the four-week festival next year. It'll be the festival's 90th anniversary.
The 2017 festival will include:
- Saturday, March 25: Opening Ceremony at the Warner Theatre
- Saturday, April 1: Blossom Kite Festival on the Washington Monument grounds
- Saturday, April 8: National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
- Saturday, April 8: Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival
- Saturday, April 15: Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
- Saturday, March 25-Sunday, April 9: Tidal Basin Welcome Area and ANA Performance Stage
The festival's official artwork, created by D.C.-based artist Naturel, was also unveiled Thursday night. At the festival, participants will be able to buy the posters and other merchandise by Naturel. For each poster sold, $1 will go to the Trust for the National Mall’s Cherry Tree Endowment Fund.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates springtime in D.C. and includes diverse programming meant to celebrate the friendship between the United States and Japan. According to the festival's website, 1.5 million people attend the fest each year.