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2016 - 104th Anniversary of National Cherry Blossom Festival: The Nations Greatest Springtime Celebration

This year marks the 104th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.

This year marks the 104th anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan as a symbol of friendship with the United States.

Cherry Blossom Peak Bloom Dates: March 31 - April 3, 2016.

Event Schedule

See All Festival Events

Mar 26 - Opening Ceremony

Apr 02 - Blossom Kite Festival

Apr 16 - Cherry Blossom Parade

Apr 16 - Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival

Locations for Cherry Trees in 3 Park Locations

1) Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park: 1,678 Cherry Trees

2) East Potomac Park (Haines Point): 1,681 Cherry Trees

3) Washington Monument grounds: 342 Cherry Trees

4) Other Parks: 49 Cherry Trees

When will the cherry blossom trees bloom?

The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions. The mean date of blooming is April 4, but nature is not always cooperative and the National Park Service horticulturists cannot make an accurate prediction much more than 10 days prior. The blooming period starts several days before the Peak Bloom Date and can last as long as 14 days; however, frost or high temperatures combined with wind and/or rain can shorten this period. See more information about the blooming period.

I want to see the cherry blossoms when they are in bloom. Which days should I plan my visit?

Since a close-to-accurate prediction of the blooming period cannot be made until early March each year, the Festival advises that you take stock of the other activities you want to engage in during your visit. For example, if attending the Parade and Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival are a priority, plan your visit for that weekend of the Festival. Fill your itinerary with all you want to see in Washington, DC and do at the Festival; and include walking around the Tidal Basin among them.

The various stages of bloom on the trees are wonderful each in their own way, from the vivid pink of the buds about to burst, to the softer pink of the blossoms on the trees, to the snowy white environment of the petals falling off the trees. So no matter when you visit Washington, DC during cherry blossom season, you'll see something memorable happening at the Tidal Basin.

When is the best time of day to see the cherry blossoms?

Anytime is a good time to see the blossoms. However, visitors should be prepared for heavier crowds on weekends and when the trees reach their peak blooming period. There is no guarantee, but there are often fewer people during the week, early in the morning, and in late afternoon/early evening.

Where are the cherry blossom trees located?

 The cherry blossom trees currently grow in three National Park Service locations: around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the Washington Monument grounds. For information on which varieties of cherry blossom trees are located in which park and maps, see the  National Park Service cherry blossom page.