National Cherry Blossom Parade Returns (photos)

After a three-year pause, thousands returned once again to Constitution Ave. in Washington D.C. on Saturday April 9 to witness and enjoy the live spectacle of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.

The 2022 edition of the parade featured military platoons, marching bands, dance troupes, beauty queens, celebrity guests and of course the traditional giant helium balloons. Laz Alonso, star of Amazon Prime series The Boys and one of Variety’s “Top Ten Actors to Watch” served as the parade’s Grand Marshal. Entertainers also included Taylor Dayne, Grammy-nominated vocalist of the 1980s hit “Tell It To My Heart,” Rare Essence, Washington’s premier Go-Go band for over four decades, Freddie Jackson, known for his hit song “You Are My Lady,” 90s Rap duo Tag Team, best known for their 1993 single “Whoomp! (There It Is),” and Wendy Moten, NBC’s The Voice runner-up in 2021.

Ten marching bands from across the nation were also showcased including Washington D.C.’s Ballou High School Majestic Marching Band, Washington D.C.’s Different Drummers, and the parade’s inaugural appearance from the U.S Naval Academy Drum and Bugle Corps.

The weeks-long National Cherry Blossom Festival traditionally commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, D.C, and celebrates the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The parade and other live events associated with the Festival had to be cancelled in each of the past two years due to the pandemic.

View a slideshow of Jeff Malet’s photos of the parade by clicking on the photo icons below.



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