National Cherry Blossom Festival gets underway in Washington

The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 through April 17

WASHINGTON - Spring has sprung, and Mother Nature has started to sprout her beauty, and this weekend marks the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in the nation's capital.

The event is one of Washington, D.C.'s oldest springtime traditions and dates back to 1912, when the people of Tokyo gifted the United States 3,000 Japanese flowering cherry trees.

The number of trees, which were planted along the Tidal Basin, has since grown to more than 3,700, according to the chief of communications and spokesperson for the National Mall and Memorial Parks, Mike Litterst.

The trees can also be viewed on the grounds of the Washington Monument and East Potomac Park.

"The trees, blooms and blossoms are center stage, but there are a lot of other activities for folks who come to town," Litterst said. "We opened the Tidal Basin Welcome Area (Saturday), and that's going an entertainment stage, food sales and a Junior Ranger Activity Zone."

For the next four weekends, there will be activities across Washington, according to Litterst.


"Next weekend is the Blossom Kite Festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument, and it all culminated at the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 9," he said.

For a complete list of activities during this year's festival, click here.