The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC begins Saturday March 26, and it looks to be perfect timing as the Cherry Blossoms are only a day or two away from maximum bloom. While the festival is a time to rejoice that spring has finally arrived, this year the event kicks off with an event to reflect on the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Japan gifted the first cherry trees to Washington 99 years ago.
The Cherry Blossom Festival brings a million visitors to the Washington DC area each year, and injects over $5 billion into the local economy. This years Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 26 through April 10.
The National Parks Service website has a Cherry Blossom Webcam for viewers to see if the trees are in full bloom yet. The Cherry Blossom webcam looks North West across the Tidal Basin from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The site also helps visitors plan their stay and deal with transportation. Last year the Metro system broke usage records a couple days during the festival, and local residents are warned that stations and trains will be extremely busy this year as well.
There are also many other Cherry Blossom Festivals that occur across the United States, including Pennsylvania, California, and Colorado, but the Nations capital Cherry Blossom Festival is by far the biggest event in the nation.