Sick of snow? Spring is coming... eventually. And the Cherry Blossom Festival is ready.
Shortly before the blizzard slammed D.C., festival planners announced the dates for the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which will run between Sunday, March 20 and Sunday, April 17 this year.
Even 104 years after receiving the first gift of cherry trees from Japan, the trees and festival activities attract 1.5 million visitors every year, according to the festival website.
The most fun things to do and places to be in D.C., Maryland and Virginia
The best activity of the festival? Up-close and personal views of the blossoms surrounding D.C.’s Tidal Basin, of course. But the National Cherry Blossom Festival also features four packed weeks and three weekends of events you can enjoy when you're not gazing dreamily at the blossoms.
We have a quick guide to some of the best below. Mark your calendars!
- Saturday, March 26: The official opening ceremony features performances at the Warner Theatre (513 13th St. NW). Tickets are free but are required to attend; see the festival website.
- Saturday, April 2: Oh, go fly a kite! The Blossom Kite Festival, a family-favorite tradition, has competitions and demonstrations. You can bring your own kite, or kids can make their own!
- Saturday, April 9: The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival will blast off above the water after a full day of enjoying food vendors, an artists' marketplace and more.
- Saturday, April 16: The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade boasts a 10-block-long lineup of balloons, bands and all things pink. Grandstand tickets are on sale now for $20, but standing room along the route is free.
- Saturday, April 16: After the parade, six blocks near Capitol Hill turn into a celebration of Japanese culture with food, performances and more during the Sakura Matsuri Festival. Tickets are $10 and free for children under 12.
Keep checking NBCWashington.com for insider guides, insights and photos from the festival from now until March.