February 25, 2022 – National Cherry Blossom Festival Announces Free Tickets Now Available for Opening Ceremony

Media Contact: Krysten Copeland
National Cherry Blossom Festival   



National Cherry Blossom Festival Announces Free Tickets Now Available for Opening Ceremony 

Co-presented with The Japan Foundation, the Festival’s annual kick-off celebration will showcase Japanese performing arts and culture on the first day of spring 

Washington, D.C. [FEBRUARY 25, 2022]The National Cherry Blossom Festival  announced today that its signature Opening Ceremony, an artistic celebration, this year commemorating the 110th anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., and an annual tribute to the longstanding friendship between Japan and the U.S., will return to the historic Warner Theatre on Sunday, March 20 at 5 p.m. ET.  

Co-presented with The Japan Foundation, the Opening Ceremony will be co-hosted by ABC7/WJLA-TV StormWatch7 Meteorologist Veronica Johnson and actor and comedian Yoshi Amao. The celebration will feature spirited traditional and contemporary performances from acclaimed artists with ties to Japan and the U.S., plus special appearances by Japanese Ambassador Koji Tomita and other dignitaries and special guests.  

Tickets are available now: https://bit.ly/2022OpeningCeremony. Additionally, audiences across the globe are invited to join in this unique cultural celebration via Livestream on the Festival’s YouTube Channel. 

“The Opening Ceremony is a powerful moment to celebrate 110 years of the gift of trees, and come together to appreciate a love of the blossoms which unites us across cultures,” says Festival President and CEO Diana Mayhew, “We encourage all viewers – from wherever they are – to tag their Opening Ceremony experience on social media with #OpeningCeremony and #RediscoverSpring as we kick off this year’s celebration with cultural and musical performances you won’t want to miss.” 

Acts during the Opening Ceremony will include a number Japanese performers including:  

  • Samurai Artist KAMUI, who holds Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill: Vol 1” as one of their many theater credits 
  • World-renowned musicians Keisho Ohno (Shamisen player) and Wadaiko drummer Toshihiro Yuta 
  • Internationally known MINYO CRUSADERS, a 10-piece band that combines Japanese traditional folk songs (Minyo), with various rhythms from Latin, Afro-Cuban, and Afro-Caribbean music.  

There will be additional performances by D.C.’s Unstoppables Steppers, an award-winning youth step team, and musical interludes by DJ Heat, official DJ for the WNBA Washington Mystics and the NBA Washington Wizards. 

TICKETS: While tickets for the Opening Ceremony are free, advanced ticketing is required and there is a $5 processing fee. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for attendees ages 12 and up. Additionally, all attendees will be required to follow COVID-19 protocols as outlined by local health authorities and Warner Theatre. Please check the website for the most up to date information: https://bit.ly/2022OpeningCeremony 

TRANSPORTATION: The Festival recommends booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero, the nation’s leading parking reservations app. To reserve a parking spot, visit the National Cherry Blossom Festival SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot with rates up to 50% off drive-up.  

The closest Metro station is Metro Center (Blue, Orange, Red and Sliver lines).  

The Opening Ceremony is being co-presented with The Japan Foundation and supported in part by the JCAW Foundation, Inc., Toyota North America, Inc., the Japan National Tourism Organization, and Warner Theatre.  Other contributors include Daiichi Sankyo, MUFG Bank, Ltd., and National Press Club, and the Washington Post is a media partner.    

For the health and safety of all participants, the Festival encourages attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in alignment with CDC recommendations. Please note that masking may be required at Festival events in areas where social distancing is not possible. We recommend reviewing event details on the Festival website to determine whether proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required to attend. Please note that safety requirements may change, so please sign up for the Festival newsletter to receive the latest updates.  For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/2022OpeningCeremony 


The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the world’s great celebrations of spring. Hosted from March 20 – April 17, the 2022 Festival will include four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming that promotes traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit.  

Visit NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org or call 877.44.BLOOM for more information, and check out Facebook (@CherryBlossomFestival), Instagram (@CherryBlossFest), Twitter (@CherryBlossFest), and YouTube (@NationalCherryBlossomFestivalDC). The Festival is supported by Leadership Circle Sponsors Events DC and Amazon.