SOURCE: National Cherry Blossom Festival
14 Ways to Step Into Spring
With the National Cherry Blossom Festival March 20-April 11
1. Go on a Blossom Hunt. Head out on a search for the 25 giant Art in Bloom sculptures, painted by 25 talented local artists and installed in various locations across Washington, D.C., and in Maryland’s National Harbor and Virginia’s Aurora Hill and National Landing neighborhoods. Strike a pose, take a photo, and post it to Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ArtInBloom – anytime starting March 20. Art in Bloom is presented by Amazon.
2. Prettify your porch! Get into the spirit of spring by decorating your porch, yard, window, or balcony with all things spring for the Petal Porch Parade. Register on the Petal Porch Parade web page and then challenge your friends and neighbors to a friendly DIY design challenge. Install your creative design by March 20 and then plan a walk or drive around your community to see how others have brought the celebration of spring to their homes through Petal Porch Parade. Petal Porch Parade is presented by Amazon.
3. Welcome spring in a special way. Don’t miss the Opening Ceremony, an artistic celebration of the 1912 gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., and annual tribute to the longstanding friendship between Japan and the U.S. The one-of-a-kind production will be livestreamed on March 20 at 6:00 p.m. ET. It will be co-hosted by Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medalist, and Michelle Marsh, journalist with ABC 7 (WJLA), and feature special performances from acclaimed artists with ties to both countries, plus narration from Festival dignitaries. The Opening Ceremony is co-presented by The Japan Foundation.
4. Party with your pod! Gather your inner circle of friends and family for a fun evening of food, drink, fashion, entertainment, and more at the 2021 Pink Tie Party on March 27 – supporting D.C. area restaurants. This much- loved annual social event has been reimagined for a virtual platform. You might be sitting in your living room, but you’ll be dressed to the nines, interacting with other partygoers, dining on a festive three-course dinner from a top local restaurant, entertained by top-notch local musicians, participating in a lively silent auction, and enjoying a sake tasting presented by sake samurai. Pink Tie Party is sponsored by Amazon and Events DC.
5. Find a new favorite restaurant. Choose from more than 170 restaurants across Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia participating in Cherry Picks, starting March 20. With loads of dynamic food and drink choices, plus takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining options, there’s something for everyone. Try some new restaurants or support a couple of old favorites. Cherry Picks is presented with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.
6. Let’s go fly a kite! Make or buy a kite and join in the longstanding spring tradition of kite flying in your backyard or neighborhood park through Blossom Kite Fly anytime on March 27 or March 28. Get prepared with virtual kite-making workshops and videos of world-class kite flying demonstrations from Wings Over Washington Kite Club. Then, show everyone how you soared by sharing photos and videos on social media using the #BlossomKiteFly and #StepIntoSpring hashtags. Blossom Kite Fly is presented by Otsuka America
7. Flaunt your furry best friend. The first annual Paws & Petals Parade will give dog owners the opportunity to have Fido included as part of an entertaining virtual parade that will be posted to the Festival’s Instagram Story on April 3. People in the Washington, D.C., area and beyond can submit short videos of their dogs walking, prancing, doing tricks, and donning costumes for the chance to be featured in the Paws & Petals Parade video. The full gallery of submissions will be available for viewing on the Festival’s website after the Instagram debut. Paws & Petals Parade is presented by Mars Petcare, part of Mars, Incorporated.
8. Tune in to the Celebration Show. This nationally syndicated variety entertainment show will bring the spirit of spring and the 2021 Festival into your living room. Co-hosted by Drew Barrymore and ABC 7’s Alison Starling, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration Show will feature an all-star lineup of performances and special appearances, including Amy Grant, CeCe Winans, Norm Lewis, Samantha Diaz, Kristi Yamaguchi, and Rachael Ray. It will premiere on GATHER by Events DC on April 9; air locally on WJLA-TV (ABC 7) on April 10 and WJLA 24/7 News on April 11; and syndicate nationally throughout April, May, and June. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Celebration Show is presented by Events DC.
9. Be amazed by your City in Bloom! Starting March 20, the D.C. region will be covered in all things “pink” and “cherry blossoms” to welcome spring in a big and beautiful way. Think pink lighting in windows, cherry blossom decals on storefronts and taxis, and floral projections across buildings. The District
Keep your eyes open for those beloved blossoms!
10. Look out for parading art vehicles. The neighborhoods with the densest number of decorated Petal Porch Parade homes could be chosen for the inaugural Petal Procession on April 10 and April 11. Ten TOYOTA vehicles — all uniquely painted by local artists – will bring lots of springtime cheer as they roll through the community. Petal Procession is presented by Amazon and supported by Chase and TOYOTA.
11. Get the kids involved. There are plenty of ways for young people to step into spring, including the Blossom Kids interactive website and the Girl Scouts’ Gift of Trees Patch Program. And, with most 2021 Festival activities, programs, and virtual events being family-friendly – from Art in Bloom and Blossom Kite Fly, to Petal Porch Parade and Petal Procession – kids will have lots of opportunities to celebrate spring. Also, don’t miss the Student Art Showcase, featuring creative masterpieces from D.C. public and charter school students. After the Virtual Gallery Opening on March 30, all submissions plus commentary from D.C. arts leaders and Patrick Guyton, the 2021 official artist, will be viewable on the Student Art Showcase website. Blossom Kids and Student Art Showcase are presented by Chase.
12. Bookmark the Bloom Watch page. The leading destination for virtual “bloom watchers,” Bloom Watch is the go-to source for official updates about peak bloom, with details about the bloom stages and a link to National Park Service’s #BloomCam. Now, Bloom Watch will include new virtual ways for you to see the beloved cherry trees along the Tidal Basin and experience their peak bloom from anywhere – an on-demand virtual tour by National Park Service rangers and a 360-degree “bike ride” experience around East Potomac Park.
13. See the official artwork in person! The official 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival artwork created by Patrick Guyton is on public view at Macy’s Metro Center through April 11. The piece is artfully displayed in a window showcase, so you can see its intricacies and feels its emotion. Guyton beautifully captured the energy and colors of the Tidal Basin in springtime, with a metallic, reflective spiraling vortex of cherry blossoms set against the backdrop of the Washington Monument.
14. Treat yourself! Head to the Festival’s online gift shop to check out 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorative items – from face masks, magnets, and the 2021 official National Cherry Blossom poster, to tote bags, earrings, and coloring books. There’s nothing that doesn’t look great paired with a cherry blossom!
About the 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival
The 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival will offer engaging virtual and personal experiences through unique programs, activities, and events that honor the Festival’s deep traditions and bring the celebration of spring into the hearts and homes of communities throughout the D.C. area and beyond. Lead sponsors (Leadership Circle) for this year’s Festival are Amazon and Events DC. For more information, visit nationalcherryblossomfestival.org and follow the Festival’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.