Program: National Cherry Blossom Festival Invites Pet Owners to “Spring It On,” Pets to Have Paw-some Time Through ‘Paws & Petals’ Program 


Media Contact: 

Kaylynn Yankovich 

National Cherry Blossom Festival 




National Cherry Blossom Festival Invites Pet Owners to “Spring It On,” Pets to Have Paw-some Time Through ‘Paws & Petals’ Program 


Washington, D.C. [March 1, 2023] The National Cherry Blossom Festival today announced that for the fourth year, the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival is pet-friendly, thanks to its host sponsor Mars, Incorporated and the Paws & Petals program.  

Guided by Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, a national initiative that advocates for and supports pet-friendly places, the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Paws & Petals program helps ensure pets are happy, healthy and safe while pet owners “Spring It On” during the 2023 Festival. 

The 2023 Festival features several pet-friendly events at which pet owners can visit pet comfort stations featuring waste bag distribution, treats, shade, and water stations to keep dogs happy and hydrated. Mars and the Festival will also partner to host a ‘Yappy Hour,’ a Pause for Pets activation at Petalpalooza and other pet-friendly activities that give attendees a chance to celebrate and socialize with other pets and pet owners. 

“With more pet parents than ever eager to have their pets by their side, Mars is thrilled to once again support the National Cherry Blossom Festival to be a fun and responsible destination for people and pets,” said Lisa Campbell, Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Mars Pet Nutrition North America. “We’re proud to have Washington, D.C. as a Certified City in our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, and as the hometown community of our Mars global headquarters. We’re excited to help pets and pet parents enjoy this amazing city and springtime tradition together.” 

Festival attendees planning to bring their pets to events are encouraged to visit https://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/pets/ in advance to learn about rules and guidance for ensuring a safe and enjoyable Festival experience for all. 

Pet-friendly services provided during the Festival include:  

  • March 18 – April 2: At the Tidal Basin Welcome Area & ANA Stage, pet comfort stations will be available complete with water bowls and waste bags for dogs on the go.
  • Saturday, March 25 (10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.): At the Blossom Kite Festival, on the grounds of the Washington Monument (near 15th St. and Constitution Ave., NW), pet comfort stations will also be available.
  • Friday, March 31 (5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.): Guests and the public are invited to the Embassy Suites by Hilton Washington D.C Convention Centre with their furry friends to attend the “Paws & Petals” Yappy Hour presented by Mars Petcare. Along with happy hour specials, guests will have the opportunity to sign up for a very special doggie swim at the property’s on-site pool, which is normally closed to pets who stay on-site. Canines can take a splash in the pool while enjoying complimentary dog treats and hand-made drinks. Their human guests will be able to snack on gourmet hot dogs and a specialty “Berry Good Dog” cocktail, and a dog-friendly version will also be available. Any guests that don’t have dogs will have the opportunity to meet adoptable animals at the event. Guests will also have the chance to take home a variety of giveaway items including pop-out dog bowls, themed tennis balls, and other pet essentials.
  • Saturday, April 8 (1 p.m.-9 p.m.): At Petalpalooza, presented by Chase and taking place at Capitol Riverfront, pet comfort station and activities celebrating pets and pet-friendly spaces will be offered by the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program. Pet owners may want to come to the event earlier in the day, as the Fireworks show at 8:30 may be loud and uncomfortable for some furry friends.  

“Pets can have a paw-some time at the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival, thanks to our partnership with Mars, Incorporated,” said Diana Mayhew, president and CEO of National Cherry Blossom Festival. “We strive to provide more inclusive experiences for everyone, including pets so, for many Festival events, there’s no need to leave your furry friends at home.” 

Residents and visitors to the Festival will also be glad to know that Washington, D.C. has been a Certified City in the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program since 2021. Certification depends on meeting best practice benchmarks and the city’s commitment to being pet friendly and helping keep people and pets together. 

Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program, which was created in partnership with city planning and animal welfare experts and government stakeholders, helps cities become pet-friendly with free online resources, a playbook for cities, city and airport certification programs, grants, best practice research and policy advocacy. The program has awarded nearly half a million dollars in grants to support pet-friendly initiatives since its inception in 2017. 

To learn more, visit www.bettercitiesforpets.com. 



About the National Cherry Blossom Festival 

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the world’s great celebrations of spring. The 2023 Festival, March 20 – April 16, will include four weeks of events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Leadership Circle Sponsors for the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival are Events DC and Amazon. Add the 2023 Festival and signature events to your calendar, and visit NationalCherryBlossomFestival.org or call 877.44.BLOOM (877.442.5666) for more information. Get the latest updates via email, and be sure to follow the Festival on Facebook (@CherryBlossomFestival), Instagram (@CherryBlossFest), Twitter (@CherryBlossFest) and YouTube (@CherryBlossFest). 


About Mars Petcare    

Part of Mars, Incorporated, a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love, the 85,000 Associates across 50+ countries in Mars Petcare are dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. With 85 years of experience, our portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of the world’s pets – including brands PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO™, GREENIES™, SHEBA®, CESAR®, IAMS™ and EUKANUBA™ as well as the Waltham Petcare Science Institute which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years. Mars Petcare is also a leading veterinary health provider through an international network of over 2,000 pet hospitals and diagnostic services including BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, VCA™, Linnaeus, AniCura and Antech. We’re also active in innovation and technology for pets, with WISDOM PANEL™ genetic health screening and DNA testing for dogs, the WHISTLE™ GPS dog tracker, and LEAP VENTURE STUDIO accelerator and COMPANION FUND™ programs that drive innovation and disruption in the pet care industry. We’re also dedicated to providing a safe and fun place for dogs to stay and socialize at over 200 Camp Bow Wow® doggy day care and boarding facilities. As a family business and guided by our principles, we are privileged with the flexibility to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. 


About Hilton  

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 19 world-class brands comprising more than 7,100 properties and more than 1.1 million rooms, in 123 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list and been recognized as a global leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for six consecutive years. Hilton has introduced several industry-leading technology enhancements to improve the guest experience, including Digital Key Share, automated complimentary room upgrades and the ability to book confirmed connecting rooms. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 150 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can’t buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit stories.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. 


About Hilton Honors 

Hilton Honors is the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 19 world-class brands comprising more than 7,100 properties in 123 countries and territories. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount and free standard Wi-Fi. Members also have access to contactless technology exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app, where members can check in, choose and access their room using Digital Key. Hilton Honors offers its more than 150 million members hundreds of ways to earn and redeem Points, including with select co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem Points for free nights, purchases on Amazon, exclusive experiences, charitable contributions and more. The program is free to join and travelers can enroll online at hiltonhonors.com. Learn more about Hilton Honors at stories.hilton.com/hiltonhonors, and follow Hilton Honors on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.