Best time to go to Washington, D.C.

National Cherry Blossom Festival 2024 in Washington, D.C.

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

Dates: March 20–April 14, 2024

National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry blossoms at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Washington D.C.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual three-week-long event in Washington, D.C., that honors 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 colorful​ festivals in the U.S. capital. Over 700,000 people visit the city during the cherry blossom season to marvel at the blossoming trees and participate in the festivities. So, let's dive into the details!

Tidal Basin Welcome Area & Ana Stage (March 23–April 7, 2024)

Tidal Basin Welcome Area & Ana Stage promotes national diversity and cross-cultural connections in the United States. Held in West Basin Drive SW, the event is basically living proof of the age-old friendship between Japan and the USA. At the fest, you'll witness not only the gorgeous blooming trees at their peak but also experience a variety of entertainment options for any age. The ANA Stage promises no less than 100 performances by top-notch musicians in diverse genres, including Bluegrass, Rock, Country, Americana, you name it. Clearly, visitors and other performers won't resist showing some incredible Colombian, Japanese, Zumba, and other-style dancing moves. The Welcome Area will be open from 10 am till 6 pm while the events on ANA Stage will take place from noon.

Blossom Kite Festival (March 30–31, 2024)

Blossom Kite Festival takes place during the first or second weekend of the festival on the Washington Monument grounds. Thousands of kites are launched into the skies above the National Mall, and kite enthusiasts can take part in multiple competitions, demonstrations, and more activities. For example, you can indulge in Sakura Taiko Fest–an event, which shows the beauty of customary Japanese drumming. The performance is given by Miyako Taiko at the local Sylvan Theater. You'll have an opportunity to watch concerts by Guava Jelly, Not a Saint Band, and Ian Carroll. Be sure to also meet Mr. Mikio Toki, who has traveled from Japan to display his unique Edo-style kites at 10:45 am.

Alongside Toki's masterpieces, visitors can enjoy choreography performances by such pros as Wings Over Washington Kite Club, TeamKiteLife, and other much-awaited kite fliers. If you still have time, plan to spectate the Adult and Youth Kitemakers Competitions. However, if you're fed up with kites at this point, be sure to swing by the National Anthem performance by Flo Anito, scheduled for 10:05 am. The overall schedule for the event is from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Plus, you don't have to pay for admission as the Blossom Kite Festival is free to the public.

Petalpalooza (April 6, 2024)

Petalpalooza is the largest full-day, admission-free party of the National Cherry Blossom Festival that takes place outdoors on the Capitol Riverfront near Navy Yard Metro (look for Dept of Transportation Exit). Petalpalooza is a long-awaited event for people of all ages. As a visitor, you'll be able to relish authentic art displays and installations, live music concerts, a bunch of games, a beverage garden, roaming entertainers, and more. But the headliner of the festival is the legendary Fireworks Show, planned for 8:30 pm. If you feel like the Capitol Riverfront is too crowded for you, you are welcome to move closer to the Anacostia River banks, where you can also watch the fireworks. Festival doors open at 1 pm and don't close until 9 pm, after the pyrothecnics.

The National Cherry Blossom Parade (April 13, 2024)

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 incredible floats, dozens of marching bands, and celebrity entertainers. You'll be thrilled to meet this year's special guests–Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse–straight from Disneyland. In 2024, people are especially excited to meet such performers as Colin Stough (finalist of American Idol) and "The Sugar Hill Gang" (who are considered to be the fathers of the hip hop genre). The parade route goes along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Streets NW. The prices are different for each seating location: $40 for the East End area and only $25 to $30 for West End.

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