The National Cherry Blossom Festival officially gets underway today and the trees on the National Mall are resplendent, thanks to a warmer than usual March. This year’s celebration is special since it marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. from Japan. Already the crowds are traveling to the mall, enjoying the spectacle of the white and pink blossoms located in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. Many visitors rent paddle boats to view the trees from the Tidal Basin. Others make good use of cameras and cellphones, capturing friends and family posing by the flowers with the Jefferson Memorial gleaming white in the background.
There is some concern that the blossoms may not last through April 27, when the festival concludes. So go soon! Besides viewing the actual trees, visitors can enjoy museum shows, lectures, bike tours, boat rides, street festivals, concerts, kite flying, films, and many other events. Enjoy our slide show and go to the festival’s website to plan your own celebration.