A Timely Event Here in DC: the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

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It’s been touch-and-go for blossoms.  First, they would be early and then maybe only partials blooms, but no matter the Cherry Blossom Festival and it’s events are the prettiest and loveliest time of the year in Washington, DC.

The official festival starts Saturday, March 25 with opening ceremonies at the Warner Theatre and goes all the way to a night of fireworks on April 15th.

The Nationals return home to Nationals Park for a preseason game against the Red Sox at 4:05 p.m. March 31. They play their home opener against the Marlins at 1:05 p.m. April 3.  Don’t miss a game at the incredible Nationals Stadium.

The annual Blossom Kite Festival, runs all day on April 1, starting at 10 a.m. on the Washington Monument grounds near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW.  Fun to watch, but also plenty of room to fly your own kite. Rain date is April 2. Nearest Metro stations: Smithsonian, Federal Triangle.

On April 2, you’ll find the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk. The 10-mile run starts at 7:20 a.m. and the 5K at 8:40 a.m. Start line is on 15th Street NW near the Washington Monument. Metro stations are Smithsonian and Federal Triangle.

The Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, will be held on April 8th, 10 a.m. to noon. The floats and marching bands proceed along Constitution Avenue from Seventh to 17th streets NW. Tickets are required for the grandstands, but stand for free between Ninth and 15th streets. Nearest Metro stations: Archives and Federal Triangle.

Anacostia River Festival, 1 to 5 p.m., Anacostia Park, at Anacostia Drive and Good Hope Road SE will be held April 9th. The festival offers opportunities to canoe, play lawn games and enjoy the local arts scene. There will be free shuttle buses running from the Anacostia Metro stop

And the grand finale of the festival will be held April 15th at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival. The fireworks are scheduled for 8:30 p.m. over the Washington Channel. But the event begins with a music and food festival from 2 to 9:30 p.m. at the District Wharf, 600-650 Water St. SW. April 16th is the rain date for the fireworks. Nearest Metro stations: Waterfront and L’Enfant Plaza.

At the Tidal Basin.   You can get there several ways, but no matter what, plan on doing some walking and patiently navigating the crowds.

By Metro, the closest stop is the Smithsonian station.  Trains start to run at 5 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. on the weekends.  Buy a SmartTrip card in advance, adding enough money to avoid the lines at the fare machines on the return trip.

You can also use your SmartTrip card on the D.C. Circulator that passes all the monuments and the Tidal Basis.  You may get on and off at any of the posted stops.

If you’re driving prepare for congestion and very limited parking which can be found along Ohio Drive SW between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.

The official festival feed is @CherryBlossFest on Twitter. Great for announcements and updates. Follow @Metrorailinfo for information on the subway and @Metrobusinfo for the buses.

Enjoy the festival for all its beauty and fun.  Only one big rule.  PLEASE.  No cutting, climbing or picking the blossoms – leaving the beauty for all to enjoy year-after-year.

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