2017 D.C. Cherry Blossoms and Festival: A Roller Coaster Weather Ride

In the D.C. region, spring is synonymous with cherry blossoms. The light-pink flowers that bloom on the Yoshino cherry trees around the National Basin are one of the region’s most popular attractions.

Unfortunately, recent winter weather and snow in the region means peak bloom has been pushed back from its original forecasted date of March 14 to 17. On Friday, March 17, the NPS announced that about 50% of the cherry blossoms had been destroyed due to frost and cold.

What’s going on with the cherry blossoms?

Warm temperatures throughout February led experts to believe the blossoms would hit peak bloom early. On March 1, The National Park Service’s initial forecast for peak bloom was between March 14 and March 17.

But after significant snowfall and temperatures in the 20s last week, the NPS has revised their peak bloom forecast to March 19 through the 22nd. It was expected that up to 90% of the blooms could be destroyed, but only about half were ruined from the cold. However, more cold nights are forecasted for this week, which could lead to further damage.

It’s now projected that peak bloom will happen some time at the end of this week and last through this weekend. The NPS still projects an excellent showing; the blossoms that survived should be normal and healthy. No matter what peak bloom is like this year, the opening ceremony of the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival will kick off this Saturday, March 25.

2017 Cherry Blossom Festival and other events in D.C.

  • Blossoms Kite Festival – April 1, 10 AM to 4:30 PM. Spring is synonymous with kites – head to the Washington Monument near 17th St. NW & Constitution Ave to kick off flying season in grand fashion. Feel free to bring your own kite or create one with on-site supplies (while they last) and join enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds as they fill the sky with colorful kites.
  • National Cherry Blossom Parade – April 8, 10 AM to 12:00 PM. The parade is the crown jewel of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It runs for 10 blocks from 7th to 17th streets along Constitution Avenue NW and will include marching bands, giant helium balloons, floats, and performers from across the country. Tickets are $20 for grandstand seating along Constitution.
  • Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival – April 15, 2 PM to 9:30 PM. This exciting festival at the District Wharf at 600 Water Street, SW will include live bands, a beer garden, food trucks, and activities for all ages. If the weather is acceptable, there will be a fireworks display at 8:30 PM.


Check out the festival website for more information. If you’re traveling to the D.C. region to see the cherry blossoms and need a hotel, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alexandria – Fort Belvoir is the perfect option. With a complimentary shuttle to the metro, easy access to D.C. and Old Town Alexandria, and competitive nightly rates, the Holiday Inn Express is a comfortable, convenient option for those visiting D.C. this spring.

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