The National Cherry Blossom Festival is in full bloom this weekend in Washington, D.C., with the return of the parade and two festivals.
After two years of cancelations and scaled-back events due to COVID-19, large crowds of people are expected to come out in honor of D.C.’s beloved cherry trees.
Giant balloons, marching bands, dancers and more stepped off at 10 a.m. to begin the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
Laz Alonso, an actor D.C. native, is serving as grand marshal.
The parade route stretches between 7th and 17th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW.
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
This year's Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival will be held over two days for the first time in its 60-year history, the festival's website said.
The festival, which celebrates Japanese culture in the United States, will be held along Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 7th Streets. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
You’ll find exhibits and activities such as the Beyond Tokyo Pavilion, Ginza Marketplace, a cosplay contest and sake tasting, as well as more than 20 Japanese food vendors.
The festival has an app to help you find all the vendors and performances.
One-day tickets cost $15, and you can purchase them online in advance.
Anacostia River Festival
The Anacostia River Festival will feature a variety of music performances, including go-go music and local drum lines, on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. You can find the festivities near Good Hope Road SE and Anacostia Drive SE.
The free festival aims to honor the "history and sounds of communities on both sides of the Anacostia River and amplifying the stories, culture, and heritage of neighboring African American residents."
Cherry Blossom Festival Parade Road Closures
Here are the road closures to know about, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.
No parking, closed to vehicles from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9
- 7th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- Constitution Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue to 14th Street, NW
- 12th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Madison Drive, NW
- 14th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
Closed to vehicles from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9
- SE/SW Freeway-Access to 12th Street Tunnel from I-395 ramp
- Constitution Avenue from 14th Street to 23rd Street, NW
- Inbound I-395 (14th Street Bridge) - All traffic will be sent eastbound on I-395
- Inbound I-395 (14th Street Bridge - HOV) - All traffic will be sent eastbound on I-395
- 17th Street from New York Avenue, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
- 18th Street from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
- 19th Street from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
- Virginia Avenue from 24th Street to Constitution Avenue, NW