DowntownDC Welcomes Spring With the National Cherry Blossom Festival


The National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF) is just weeks away and as you wait for the blossoms to bloom, get ready for an array of exciting cultural and entertainment events to look forward to in DowntownDC.

DowntownDC is the destination of choice for more than 15 festival events surrounding the nation’s greatest springtime celebration, which runs this year from March 22-April 14.

The National Park Service announced this week that cherry blossoms are estimated to reach their peak bloom April 3-6, that’s when 70 percent of blossoms are expected to open on the Yoshino cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin.

You can enjoy the blooms in DowntownDC on the evening of April 11. Mark your calendar for a free Cherry Blossom Yoga & Sunset Celebration Yoga on Freedom Plaza (Pennsylvania Avenue & 13th Street NW). There, the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) is hosting a an all-levels yoga class, kicking off with a warm up from Pulse House of Fitness from 5-5:30pm, then a one-hour community yoga practice with resident Daybreaker DC yoga teacher, Atticus Mooney, and capped off by a two-hour dance party from 6:30-8:30pm.

There’s more to enjoy in DowntownDC throughout the festival. Signature events and fun family celebrations in our area include the Pink Tie Party Fundraiser at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center on March 22, the Opening Ceremony at the Warner Theatre on March 23, the SAAM Cherry Blossom Celebration at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on March 23 and the Blossom Kite Festival on the grounds of the Washington Monument March 30.

The festival culminates in the signature National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade® presented by Events DC on April 13. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. on Constitution Avenue and runs from 7th to 17th streets, from the National Archives to the Washington Monument. This year’s honorary grand marshal is Anthony Anderson from ABC’s black-ish. Celebrity performances and appearances will include Cece Peniston and Rayshun LaMarr, contestant on season 14 of NBC’s The Voice and a DC-area native.

Immediately following the parade, the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival will begin on Pennsylvania Avenue. Sakura Matsuri is the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the U.S. and will feature more than 80 cultural groups, four stages of performances, arts vendors and food booths.

The nation’s greatest springtime celebration annually begins the first day of spring. The festival is where D.C., our region and nation unite to welcome spring and celebrate the 106th anniversary of Tokyo’s gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the city.

The DowntownDC BID is a proud longtime supporter and host sponsor of the festival.

For a complete list of events and more information on the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visit

Check out these select festival events happening in DowntownDC:

Pink Tie Party Fundraiser: March 22 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

SAAM Cherry Blossom Celebration: March 23 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Opening Ceremony: March 23 at the Warner Theatre

Student Art Contest & Community Art Show: March 26 at the Pepco Edison Gallery

Art at the Center: March 27 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center

Cherry Blossom Sunrise with SAAM + Daybreakers: March 29 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Tastes of Spring Cherry Blossom Food Crawl: March 30 in the Penn Quarter and Chinatown neighborhoods

Growing Community: April 7 at the National Building Museum

Chocolate Truffle Making Class – Cherry Blossom Edition: April 6 at The Willard InterContinental Hotel

Kimono Fashion Show and Luncheon: April 10 at the JW Marriott

*Cherry Blossom Yoga & Sunset Celebration: April 11 at Freedom Plaza

Newseum Nights: In Bloom: April 12 at the Newseum

Cherry Blossom Grand Ball: April 12 at the JW Marriott

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade ®: April 13 on Constitution Avenue

Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival: April 13 on Pennsylvania Avenue

Take Five Meditation: One Giant Meditation: April 14 at the National Building Museum