The District’s famous cherry blossoms are expected to be in peak bloom this weekend, just in time for the annual parade and street festival scheduled for Saturday.
Experts at the National Park Service estimate the flowers will be in top form Saturday through Tuesday. The peak bloom date is when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry blossom trees that ring the Tidal Basin are open, which varies from year to year depending on weather.
Here’s what to expect:
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade — The parade will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets NW. Expect floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands and a long list of performers, including DC Roller Girls and the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. Grandstand seats cost $20 each, but spots along the parade route can be claimed for free.
Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival — The street festival will be held Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 9th and 14th streets NW. The festivities will include a sake and beer pavilion, a Japanese language station, calligraphy sessions and live music on four stages. Admission costs $10 per person and is free for children 12 and younger.
Metro — WMATA is holding off on weekend track work because of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Regular service is expected on all lines. On Sunday, the system will open two hours early, at 7 a.m. for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. See the Metro website for up-to-the-minute website.
Street Closures — Streets will be closed west of Ward 6 on Saturday for the parade and festival, and on Sunday for the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. The full street closure list for the festival and parade, plus the race, can be found online.
Want to Skip the Crowds? — If you can’t make it to the Cherry Blossom Festival or would rather dodge the crowds, you can watch the blossoms 24 hours a day via webcam. Footage captured by EarthCam and the National Park Service is available online.
Want Cherry Blossom-Themed Home Goods? — A $65 cherry blossom candle can be yours, Washingtonian reports.