Best time to go to Washington, D.C.

National Cherry Blossom Festival 2020

One of the largest spring celebrations in the U.S. capital

National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. 2020 - Best Time
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© James McNellis

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual three-week-long event in Washington, D.C. that honours a historical gift of Japanese cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington in 1912. With dozens of giant helium balloons, marching bands, live music and performances it is recognized as one of the most colourful​ festivals in the U.S. capital. Over 700,000 people visit the city to marvel blossoming cherry trees and take part in the festivities.

At the National Cherry Blossom Kite Festival 2020
At the National Cherry Blossom Kite Festival

The festival begins in mid-March with an official opening at Warner Theatre and Family Day at the National Building Museum. The main live entertainment happens on three stages of the Southwest Waterfront.

Blossom Kite Festival occurs during the first or second weekend of the festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument. Thousands of kites are launched into the skies above the National Mall. Kite enthusiasts can take part in multiple competitions, demonstrations, Rokkaku Battles, and the Hot Tricks Showdown. After kite-making workshops and kite parade, it's possible to go on Tidal Basin bike tours and see art exhibitions, kimono demonstrations​, dance, singing, martial arts, and much more on the entertainment stages.

Blossom Kite Festival 2020
Blossom Kite Festival
Blossom Kite Festival 2020
Blossom Kite Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Parade is one of the most popular events of the festival. It takes place on the last Saturday morning of the festival. It features amazing floats, dozens of marching bands and celebrity entertainers. The route goes along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets NW. After the parade, there is a street festival at M Street SE and New Jersey Avenue SE.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 2020
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade from the Grandstand on Constitution Avenue near 7th Street 2020
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade from the Grandstand on Constitution Avenue near 7th Street
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 2020
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Constitution Avenue near 10th Street 2020
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Constitution Avenue near 10th Street

Petalpalooza is the largest full day free party of the National Cherry Blossom Festival that takes place outdoors on the Southwest Waterfront. It is full of live music, fun and engaging activities for all ages. There are also dozens of vendors and product giveaways. The festival ends with a spectacular fireworks display.