Mar 1, 2023 - Things to Do

Cherry blossom peak bloom date announced

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The District's beloved cherry blossom trees will reach peak bloom March 22-25, the National Park Service announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: It’s time! Grab your camera, pop a Benadryl and prepare to dodge the tourists flocking to D.C.

State of play: It was a challenging year for predicting the bloom. Due to warmer temperatures, the trees never reached their winter dormancy. The indicator tree is showing several different phases of blossoms due to varying temperatures, NPS said at an event today.

  • Peak bloom is when 70% of the Yoshino blossoms at the Tidal Basin have bloomed.

Threat level: The blossoms can become vulnerable to weather whiplash events if warm weather is followed by cold snaps, which is common through mid-March, per Axios' Andrew Freedman.

  • Additionally, climate change has led to rising sea levels, record heat, heavier rains and more severe weather over the past few years in our region, all conditions that diminish the cherry blossoms' longevity, as Axios previously reported.

Details: Peak bloom corresponds with this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs March 20-April 16 and marks 111 years since Japan gifted the trees to D.C. as a symbol of friendship.

What to expect: The festival will feature mainstay favorites and new events, including:

  • The Kite Festival on March 25.
  • The Cherry Blossom 5K and 10 Miler on April 1 and 2 (registration is closed, but it's fun to spectate) and Kids Fun Run at the National Building Museum on April 1.
  • Petalpalooza on April 8 at the Yards.
  • The Cherry Blossom Parade with D.C. native and "Abbott Elementary" actor Lisa Ann Walter as honorary marshal on April 15.
  • A Jazz & Blossoms event in Franklin Park on April 8.
  • A Sakura-Matsuri Japanese Street Festival on Pennsylvania Avenue on April 15-16.

Editor's note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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