National Cherry Blossom Festival, 2022

This year commemorates the 110th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.

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Lea Craigie-Marshell

2022 Official National Cherry Blossom Festival Poster

It’s here again: The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C.! Every year the nation’s capital welcomes tourists during and around “Peak Bloom Date”, this year’s festival started on March 20 and runs until April 17; it’s also the 110th anniversary of the event. The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the U.S., showing the friendship between the two countries as well as

The festival started back in 1912, when First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, who was the wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two Yoshino cherry trees in D.C. Over the following decades, schools and civic groups planted more trees, following in the footsteps of the First Lady and the Viscountess. In 1994, the Festival expanded to a two-week celebration, and then in 2012, it was 5 weeks long to commemorate the 100th anniversary. In 2020, the Cherry Blossom Festival was virtual due to COVID-19, and last year it was hybrid. The National Park Service takes care of the cherry trees and predicts the days of the peak bloom.

This year’s festival is a grand celebration of spring with the theme of “Rediscover Spring”. The Opening¬†Ceremony kicked off the Festival on March 20 with acts performed by Minyo Crusaders, Samurai¬†Artist¬†KAMUI, Keisho Ohno, and Toshihiro Yuta. Then there was the Blossom Kite Festival on March 26 at the National Mall, but there was also a virtual option that was free and could be accessed around the world. There was also a parade on April 10, featuring Freddie Jackson, Wendy Moten, Grace Kinstler.

Petal Porch from 2021 (Credit Cherry Blossom Festival)

There were also online tours of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, and many more activities throughout the Festival. Not to mention it is also the second year of “Petal Porches” where people in Northern Virginia and Maryland decorate their porches, windows, sidewalks, etc. to celebrate the coming of the bloom. It was predicted that about 1.5 million people made their way to the nation’s capital this year for the festivities, and the Metro boosted its services to accommodate the tourists.

This year’s Festival was just as beautiful as it has been in the past. Here are some pictures from the festival taken by our Watchdog editor-in-chief, Camila Amaya: