This March marks the 110th anniversary of Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo’s beautiful gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, D.C. in 1912. Today, we celebrate this lasting friendship with a citywide festival spanning over four weeks of primarily free programming and special seasonal events. Read on to discover ways your family can celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival and enjoy one of D.C.’s premier cultural events.
Blossom Kite Festival
After a two-year interlude, the long-standing tradition of flying kites across the National Mall will return for its 55th anniversary. Among the many ways for your family to celebrate will be kite-making activity tents, a kite “doctor,” professional kite performances and competitions, a family field with kids activities and a kite club display. Participation is free & open to the public.
National Mall Saturday, March 26, 2022 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Washington’s favorite spectator event will proceed with thematic floats of performers, giant helium balloons, marching bands, dance and youth choir performance groups, twirlers, clowns, unicyclists and more! Portions of the parade are free to the public to view along the route on a first-come, first-serve basis. Paid tickets are available for reserved grandstand seating in the performance areas of the parade. If your family can’t find a way down to the district to celebrate, the Parade will also be broadcast live on ABC7/WJLA.
Constitution Avenue NW (Between 7th and 17th Streets) Saturday, April 9, 2022 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
This year’s totally free outdoor Petalpalooza may be the most electrifying way to celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival this year. Featuring live music across three stages, a “Blossom Bar” beer and wine garden, a Chalk Art Contest, interactive art installations, family-friendly hands-on activities and more, all along the banks of the Anacostia River. Plus, all will enjoy the evening’s dazzling fireworks show set to music!
Capitol Riverfront (The Yards) Saturday, April 16, 2022 1-9 p.m. with fireworks at 8:30 p.m.
Student Art Showcase
Partnering with DC Collaborative, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will be exhibiting an online gallery of student artwork featuring cherry blossomed-themed pieces. The exhibit kicks off with a private virtual gallery opening event on March 30th, 2022 with an official artist leading a Q&A session with student artists. Visit online to learn how you can vote for your favorite artist!
Online March 30-April 15 nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/student-art-showcase
This expansive virtual experience, provided for free by the festival, is another fun and safe way for families to celebrate this year’s events by engaging younger audiences about the Junior Ranger program and the Gift of Trees Cherry Blossom Patch program. The National Cherry Blossom Festival’s website has an online repository of “fun-ducation” videos, crafts and activities that explore the history of the festival and highlight the District. Categories include Arts & Crafts, Sports & Fitness, Music & Performance, Words & Numbers and The Gift of Trees. As online activities are completed, kids will earn a blooming digital flower badge!
For more details and up-to-date health and safety information, please visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s official website.