Ah, spring! What a glorious time of year. Flowers start to bloom – and so do many trees. Here in Washington, DC, the cherry blossoms take center stage with the world-famous cherry trees of the tidal basin, and the staff at The Wink has a few special spring events that are among our favorite highlights.
1. Official Cherry Blossom Festival
Nothing says spring in DC like the official Cherry Blossom Festival. Spanning several weeks from March 20 through April 14, this annual commemoration of the original gift of 3,000 cherry tress from the Mayor of Tokyo in 1912 has become an important DC tradition. With incredibly diverse, creative events celebrating arts, culture, nature, and the city’s multicultural community, most events are free. The hardest part will be deciding when to attend and what to see and do from the inspiring list of celebrations!
2. Cherry Blossom Parade
Everyone loves a parade, and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® is one of the most popular springtime traditions in DC – and the highlight of the Cherry Blossom Festival itself. Enjoy a vantage point along Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th St NW for free – but plan to arrive early to ensure a good view of the huge, multicolored balloons,extravagant floats, marching bands gathered from all over the US, celebrity entertainers such as Honorary Grand Marshal Anthony Anderson of ABC’s hit show “black-ish,” and performers including the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders. It’s a one-of-a-kind, not-to-be missed event! Taking place on Saturday, April 13, the parade runs from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.
3. Bloom Watch
While most people know about the Cherry Blossom Festival and Parade, what a lot of folks don’t realize is that not only can you come when there isn’t a planned festival event to enjoy these glorious blooms – but you may actually get better views with fewer crowds! The best places to see the beautiful cherry blossoms include behind the Capitol Building, on the grounds of the Washington Monument, at the United States National Arboretum, in Stanton Park, and along the tidal basin. Not surprisingly, the best times to visit are during the week, when there are fewer people flocking to the area. Check in on the bloom watch to find out if there will still be beautiful blooms to see outside of the official festival season – and when the peak blooming is predicted to occur this year.
4. Anacostia River Festival
The official closing event of the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Anacostia River Festival offers a unique taste of local Washington, DC culture on Sunday, April 14th. This free celebration includes a lineup of live music and arts, while impressive activities include the chance to canoe along the River, ride in the bike parade, and play family-oriented lawn games. Explore and discover Southeast DC’s impressive offerings at this fun event for all ages!
5. Passport DC
Not going to make it to DC in time for the cherry blossoms this year? Never fear – there are still plenty of spring events here to enjoy. One of our favorites is Passport DC, where Washington DC’s many embassies and cultural organizations take part in exceptional events throughout the entire month of May, offering open houses and exclusive programs that showcase the international culture of this incredible city with a variety of exhibits, performances, and more. Running throughout the entire month of May, you’ll find everything from embassy tours and flower shows to European cultural celebrations and the National Asian Heritage Festival on Saturday, May 18.
Enjoy spring in DC with just a little bit extra at The Wink from March 14th to April 21st!
Cherry O-Donuts Packages helps you to enjoy Washington like a local, with two $8 metro passes to get you to your destination, a to-go breakfast of cherry blossom themed donuts and freshly brewed Illy Coffee, and a donation to support the Cherry Blossom Festival itself, helping to preserve and protect these iconic trees. Even if you miss the festival and plan to visit in May, our friendly and knowledgeable staff can provide you with the best insider tips for getting the most out of your time with us in DC.