A scavenger hunt around town for blossom-inspired sculptures, kite flying, and a Petal Porch Party are just some of the fun ways to pay homage to those iconic flowers. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 to April 11 this year, with peak bloom predicted to fall between April 2 and April 5, when at least 70% of the Yoshino blossoms will turn the Tidal Basin awash in pink and white. Unlike last year, when most events were canceled and we were told to stay home and watch it all from our computers or phones, this year there will be both virtual and in-person events related to the festival, albeit in a safer, pandemic-friendly way. Here are some ways to celebrate:
On March 20 at 6 p.m., stream the Opening Ceremony, co-hosted by Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and ABC 7’s Michelle Marsh and co-presented by the Japan Foundation. During the artistic celebration of the 1912 gift from Japan to Washington, D.C., you’ll see performances from artists with ties to both countries. Register here to reserve your virtual seat.
Starting March 20, download the map and search for 25 giant blossom sculptures displayed around different D.C. neighborhoods, each work from a local or national artist for an installation called Art in Bloom.
Register between now and March 27 for the 2021 Blossom Kite Fly, then watch virtual workshops and demos from March 15 to 28 to learn how to build and fly your own kite. On March 27 and 28, let your creation take to the skies in your yard or neighborhood park, and share photos and video on social media using the hashtags #BlossomKiteFly and #StepIntoSpring. The first 100 people to register will receive a collectible lapel pin; register by March 15 to add on an official National Cherry Blossom Festival Kite and limited edition Blossom Kite Fly T-shirt.
On March 27 at 7pm, dress up in your finest pink apparel, get together with your pod and meet partygoers from all over the world for the Pink Tie Party. Tickets cost $100 to $135 per person and include three-course carryout dinners from a selection of restaurants, a party kit and a chance to win prizes by Kendra Scott. Tommy McFly and Kelly Collis of Real.Fun.DC will be your virtual hosts, and there will be an interactive education session with sake (to participate, select the “Dinner with Sake Tasting Experience” when registering.)
Register from February 15 to March 15, then decorate your porch, yard, sidewalk or windows by March 20 to show your cherry blossom spirit using one of the provided themes (or your own artistic inspiration) for the Petal Porch Parade. Starting that day, you can also find a downloadable parade map for driving, walking or biking around to see other’s creations. On April 10 and 11, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will visit a selection based on location and shares on social media, so be sure to tag yours and your favorites using @cherryblossfest and #PetalPorchParade.
Watch the Celebration Show on April 9 from 8 to 9 p.m., a virtual love letter to the sights and sounds of D.C. in springtime that will be co-hosted by Drew Barrymore and Alison Starling, with performances from Samantha Diaz, Lindsey Stirling and CeCe Winans.
Other activities include a Virtual Tidal Basin Tour and glimpsing that Bloom Cam. Visit the Festival’s official gift shop to purchase the 2021 official poster and other commemorative items, as well as year-round blossom attire and other fun items. For more info, check out the Festival website.
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