Photo via Credit Union Cherry Blossoms runThousands of runners are expected to dash across Southwest D.C. this weekend as part of the annual Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.

Starting at 7:30 a.m., runners participating in the ten mile run will stream down 15th Street SW, Independence Ave. SW, the Memorial Bridge and around the Tidal Basin.

Click here to view a full map of last year’s race course, which organizers say is “very similar” to this year’s.

Metrorail service will start at 5 a.m that day to facilitate participants.

Photo via Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run

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Cherry Blossoms photo via National Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry blossom season starts soon, are you ready?

The flowering trees around the Tidal Basin are predicted to be at “peak bloom” between March 31 and April 3, said National Park Service officials this morning.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival will start March 18 and run through April 17. Here’s a sampling of the festivities:

  • March 26, 5-6:30 p.m.: The festivities will kick off with musical performances at the Warner Theatre. (513 13th St. NW)
  • April 2, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: Kites will take flight over the National Mall during the sixth annual Blossom Kite Festival.
  • April 5, 2:30 to 4 p.m.: A crowd will gather for the Japanese Stone Lantern Festival, with traditional Japanese music, the presentation of the United States and Japan Cherry Blossom QueenS and the the 2015 Cherry Blossom Princesses at the Tidal Basin at Independence Avenue and 17th Street SW.
  • April 17, 1 to 5 p.m.: The Anacostia River Festival will celebrate the waterway with free canoeing and kayaking, live music, pop-up stores and a bike parade at Anacostia Park (Anacostia Drive and Good Hope Road SE).

Photos via Facebook/National Cherry Blossom Festival

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Cherry blossom trees along the Tidal Basin (Photo via Facebook/National Cherry Blossom Festival)

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.

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Fireworks at Southwest waterfront (Photo via Facebook/National Cherry Blossom Festival)The cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom and the annual fireworks festival in their honor will light up Southwest tomorrow.

The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m., bringing live music, food trucks and floating lanterns to the waterfront. Here’s everything you need to know:

The fireworks are set to light up the sky at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine. The ideal viewing location is in Southwest Waterfront Park, near the Titanic Memorial, according to the organizers. The park is a quick walk from the Waterfront and L’Enfant Plaza Metro stations.

Performers on three stages include the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band and Color Guard, the bluegrass band Big Chimney, the Amidon-Bowen Elementary Youth Choir and a group from Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts.

Activities will include sailboat making, a station to make glow-in-the-dark pasta necklaces, a ring toss, the floating lantern spectacle and face painting.

Participating food trucks include DC Empanadas, Captain Cookie, Redhook Lobster and Curley’s Q BBQ Food Truck.

Attendees are asked to take public transportation, not drive.

To see the full schedule of every performance and activity, see the National Cherry Blossom Festival website.

Photo via Facebook/National Cherry Blossom Festival

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Cherry blossom season starts soon, with several events in Southwest.

The flowering trees around the Tidal Basin are expected to be at their best April 11 through 14, National Park Service officials said this morning.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival will start March 20 and run through April 12. Much of the celebration will occur in or near Southwest. Here’s a sampling of the festivities:

  • March 27, 7 p.m. to midnight: Cherry Blast: Art + Music Dance Party, showcasing art and musical performances inspired by the blossoms at Blind Whino (700 Delaware Ave. SW).
  • April 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Lantern Making Family Day at Canal Park in the Navy Yard neighborhood.
  • April 4, 1 to 9 p.m.: Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, with food, music and activities for kids near 600 Water St. SW.
  • April 12, 12 to 4 p.m.: Anacostia River Festival, celebrating the waterway with free canoeing and kayaking, live music, a “bird of prey demonstration” and a bike parade at Anacostia Park (Anacostia Drive and Good Hope Road SE). The National Park Service and the team behind the soon-to-be-created 11th Street Bridge Park will host the event.

Photos via Facebook/National Cherry Blossom Festival

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