Park Service Predicts D.C. Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Dates: April 11-14

In just over five weeks, the Tidal Basin will be covered with cherry blossoms instead of snow and ice, the National Park Service announced Tuesday.

The NPS says peak bloom for the city's famed cherry blossom trees will occur between April 11-14.

Those dates could be revised as we get closer to the big event -- peak bloom dates can be affected by cold weather.

Peak bloom is considered to occur when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry trees along the Tidal Basin are in bloom. The park service says unusually warm or cold temperatures have resulted in peak bloom as early as March 15 and as late as April 18. The average date for blooming is April 4. 

Organizers are also announcing plans for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. It's scheduled to run for three weeks from March 20 to April 12. The festival features a wide variety of events celebrating the trees and Japanese culture.

Some festival highlights:

  • Pink Tie Party, a fundraising gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center -- March 19
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony at the Warner Theatre -- March 21
  • Blossom Kite Festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument -- March 28
  • Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival -- April 4
  • National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival -- April 11

This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.

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