The Cherry Blossoms, Mostly at a Distance


In these odd times, there are few routine comforts. Thankfully, we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the National Cherry Blossom Festival will return this spring, running from Saturday, March 20, through Sunday, April 11.

But like many events over the last year, it will look a bit different.

Peak bloom is currently set for April 2through 5, which happens to coincide with Easter weekend. However, due to the ongoing health pandemic, the National Park Service is discouraging would-be visitors from making their way down to the Tidal Basin. Instead, online cherry blossom viewing is advised.

In fact, Jeff Reinbold, superintendent for the National Mall, said earlier this week that the Park Service and its festival partners are asking everyone to experience peak bloom virtually.

There will be a virtual opening ceremony for the National Cherry Blossom Festival on March 20. Registration is required and the live-stream is free. You can register HERE.

The annual Blossom Kite Festival is, of course, from your own backyard this year. However, if you register for the Blossom Kite Fly by March 15, you have the option to add on an official, limited-edition, Blossom Kite Fly T-shirt.

If you can’t stand staring at the same four walls of your house anymore, the Wharf is hosting Bloomaroo at the Wharf — with pink lanterns along Pearl Street — during the entire run of the festival. Bloomaroo will feature Camp Wharf, with pink lemonade and Peeps for s’more-making, outdoor cycling with Hustle DC, art installations and cherry blossom-inspired food and cocktail offerings. As always, all COVID guidelines will be followed.

If you need to decompress a bit with all that’s been happening lately, the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, in Virginia is offering a seasonal cherry blossom body polish. The treatment uses exfoliating cherry bonsai seeds to remove superfluous dead skin cells and refine the appearance of the back. The polish is then followed up with a full-body massage using Japanese cherry blossom oil. A cherry blossom facial, incorporating organic sour cherries and vitamin C extracts, is also available.

Round out this year’s festival with “The Celebration Show.” This “television extravaganza celebrating the sights and sounds of D.C. in springtime” will premiere online at gatherthedistrict.com, the site of Gather by Events DC, on Friday, April 9, from 8 to 9 p.m. If you miss it, you can catch it on April 10 at noon on WJLA; the show will also be syndicated nationally throughout the spring.

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