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The National Cherry Blossom Festival is planned to coincide as nearly as possible with the blooming of the trees. Peak Bloom Date is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees are open. The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. The mean date of blooming is April 4, but nature is not always cooperative and the National Park Service horticulturists cannot make an accurate prediction much more than 10 days prior. The blooming period starts several days before the Peak Bloom Date and can last as long as 14 days; however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind and/or rain can shorten this period.
Anytime is a good time to see the blossoms. However, visitors should be prepared for heavier crowds on weekends and when the trees reach their peak blooming period. There is no guarantee, but there are often fewer people during the week, early in the morning, and in late afternoon/early evening.
For the most part, the care of the Japanese flowering cherries has been entrusted to the members of the Tree Crew for National Capital Parks-Central. These individuals are professional arborists with technical competence through experience and related training to provide for the care of the trees.
- As hard as members of the Tree Crew work year round, there are things you can do to assist in the maintenance and longevity of the trees when you visit:
- Please do not climb the trees or pick branches.
Be aware of walking around the roots of the trees as ground compaction causes damage to the trees.
The Festival website has the most current information available and is constantly being updated. If you would like a printed version of the Calendar of Events, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your request to: National Cherry Blossom Festival, 1275 K Street, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005. The current year’s calendar of events is available in late February each year.
You can also retrieve Festival information once in Washington by visiting Festival information centers. There is a Welcome Area located on the southern grounds of the Washington Monument, and an Information Kiosk located on the west side of the Jefferson Memorial. There is also an official Festival Headquarters at Union Station with information and official merchandise.
To get more information about Washington, DC while planning your trip, see the Visitor Information page, or call the Festival Hotline at (877) 44BLOOM to address specific questions regarding information on area airports, recommended hotels, etc.
The 2020 Festival will be held March 20 through April 13, with the Parade on Saturday, April 4, 2020.
The 2021 Festival will be held March 20 through April 11, with the Parade on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
The cherry blossom trees currently grow in three National Park Service locations: around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the Washington Monument grounds. For information on varieties of cherry blossom trees and park maps, see the National Park Service cherry blossom page.
The National Park Service has a limited supply of wheelchairs available for rent at no charge. Wheelchairs may be checked out from either the World War II Memorial or the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. Visitors can sign out an available wheelchair on a first-come first-served basis by leaving a form of ID (i.e., drivers license) but wheelchairs must remain at that memorial site. They are not permitted around the mall. Upon return of the wheelchair, the ID will be returned.
Dogs are allowed on the National Mall and Memorial Parks but the owner must keep the dog on a leash 100% of the time. Never is an owner allowed to let a dog run freely in any of these locations. Also the owners are NEVER allowed to let the dog “go to the bathroom” in the Reflecting Pool or in the pool at the World War II Memorial. The National Park Service has had and continues to have problems in this regard and are making their best attempts to educate the public. For more pet friendly info click here!
Many Festival events are FREE and open to the public. However, there are a few exceptions. Browse the Events page for listings and to see which events have admissions fees.
There are many different ways you can get involved with the Festival through performing and visual arts. For more information on our Sing into Spring vocal competition and other performing arts and design opportunities, go to https://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/get-involved