The National Cherry Blossom Festival is opening with a weekend of family activities at the National Building Museum.
The free family days event runs Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The museum will offer crafts and activities focused on architecture, the cherry trees and Japanese arts.
An opening ceremony for the National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned for Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Warner Theatre. The festival runs for five weeks through April 27.
The National Park Service says it expects the trees will be in full bloom between April 3 and April 6. Officials say the cold weather slowed the blossoms' growth.
The cherry blossoms draw about 1 million visitors each spring. This year marks the 101st anniversary of the gift of trees from Japan.