Celebrating The 2016 DC Cherry Blossom Festival

Tree with cherry blossoms

In 1912, the Mayor of Tokyo sent over 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, D.C. as a gift to America from Japan’s government. Since then, DC locals and visitors alike have admired their blooming every spring, which fills the Tidal Basin with pale pink flowers.

If you’re going to be spending some time in DC area hotels in the next few weeks, here’s a rundown of what you need to know to celebrate the coming of spring in the District this year.

How to see the 2016 DC cherry blossoms

Because of cool weather in the region last week, the National Park Service changed the date of its prediction for peak bloom last week. The new peak bloom forecast calls for 70% or more of the cherry trees to be in bloom between March 23 and March 24.

You can reach the Tidal Basin by taking the blue or orange line to the Smithsonian Metro and walking south towards the Jefferson Memorial.

2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival events

The Cherry Blossom Festival is a monthlong celebration of the arrival of spring and the cherry blossoms that includes a variety of fun events:

  • On April 2 at the Washington Monument, the Blossom Kite Festival will take place between 10 AM and 4:30 PM. This 50-year-old free event celebrates creative kite makers and skilled flyers. There will be competitions, demonstrations and a kite-making station for children.
  • On Saturday, April 9, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival takes place between 1 PM and 9 PM at the waterfront near the Titanic Memorial on Water Street SW. The festival includes food, live music, and family-friendly water activities.
  • On April 16 between 10 AM and Noon, the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will travel 10 blocks down Constitution Avenue. Performers include cast members from the musical Jersey Boys, R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn, and cheerleaders from the Washington Redskins.


If you plan on traveling to the Washington area to take part in the festival or just admire the cherry blossoms, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is the ideal place to stay. Its close proximity to DC and amenities like a free shuttle to the metro and complimentary wi-fi will make sure your springtime visit is relaxing and enjoyable.

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