Thursday, March 18, 2021

Get Out! Or Stay In! There Are Dozens of Ways to Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC This Year

Photo by Thomas S Mann

by Peggy Robin 

Last year at this time, all the Cherry Blossom festival events were abruptly canceled. Some moved into cyberspace….where it’s not the same. Sure, people still went down to the Tidal Basin in droves….most of them ignoring the danger of being in a crowd. Mask-wearing was still new back then, and lots of people were in denial about the coronavirus. Why wouldn't they be? We had a president who called it all big hoax (and then tried to hide the fact that he was so sick, he needed to be put on oxygen).

One year later, we’re all too aware of the non-hoax reasons to stay away from crowds. Now mask-wearing has become the norm, and vaccination is spreading, it’s possible, with careful planning, to be out and about and among the cherry trees in a way that maintains social distancing and minimizes risk. So if you want to see the cherry trees at their peak bloom, go….but try to pick an unpopular time. Dawn on a weekday should work well, and you will get to see the sunrise. Weekends…..forget it! Not sure what it’s like down there? Check the Bloom cam and find out!

There won’t be a parade (maybe next year!) but there are plenty of other outdoor activities. Most start on March 20 and continue through April 11. The following is but a quick sampling of the activities, IRL and VR, taking place between March 20 – April 11.

Opening Ceremonies co-hosted by Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and ABC7’s Michelle Marsh
March 20 at 6 PM – Livestreamed. Free. Registration required: Reserve your virtual seat today!
Featuring performances of Japanese musical theater, tap dance, calligraphy, and many other Japanese arts.
Full details: 


Porch Petal Parade and Petal Procession

All residents of the DMV region have been invited to unleash their creativity and celebrate their cherry blossom spirit by decorating their porches, yards, or windows. The National Cherry Blossom Festival site at has a map (scroll down the page a bit) that you can enlarge to zero in on the decorated porches near you. Plan a walk or a drive to see the many different houses decorated to celebrate the blossoms. The Petal Porch Parade will take place from March 20 until April 11. On the weekend of April 10-11, a Petal Procession will drive through select Petal Porch Parade neighborhoods in and around DC.


Blossom Kite Fly
Take to the skies and join us for the long-standing tradition of kite flying in springtime during the 2021 Blossom Kite Fly! Registernow for free through March 27, 2021. The first 100 people to register will receive a 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival Collectible Lapel Pin! All participants who register will receive first access to virtual workshops and demos. Register by March 15 to add-on an official National Cherry Blossom Festival kite and limited edition Blossom Kite Fly t-shirt!

  • February 8-March 27: Register for Blossom Kite Fly and invite your friends to participate too!
  • March 15-28: Visit the Blossom Kite Fly webpage to enjoy virtual workshops and demos to prepare and get excited for Blossom Kite Fly.
  • March 27-28: Take to the skies and fly kites in your own backyard or neighborhood park! Don’t forget to share your experience on social media using the hashtags  #BlossomKiteFly and #StepIntoSpring. If you have a private account or don’t use social media, text your favorite photos to 202-519-5090 for the chance to be featured in our online photo gallery. Safely engage with your environment and show us how you soar!

Don’t know where to fly your kite in DC? Check out this map from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation to find a place to show off your skills. Make sure to look for a park with open space and little to no trees. 

More details:  


The (Virtual) Paws and Petals Parade   
Submit a video of your dog for the Paws & Petals Parade.

Join the paw-ty! Enter your pup to be featured in a virtual parade on April 3. Submit a 10-second video of your dog showing off their finest spring and cherry blossom attire by MARCH 24. The best videos will be featured in a virtual parade on April 3 for the world to see on the National Cherry Blossom Festival's Instagram. All the details at:


Art in Bloom - All Across the District

A community-wide visual arts exhibition, Art in Bloom radiates spring with 26 oversized cherry blossom statues that have been painted by local artists and placed in  in all eight wards of the District, plus Maryland’s National Harbor and the Aurora Highlands and National Landing neighborhoods in Northern Virginia.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to go on a Blossom Hunt – finding the sculptures, posting a photo to Instagram or Twitter; tagging the Festival (@CherryBlossFest) and using #artinbloom in the caption. Each week during the display period, the Festival will randomly select winners of a Festival prize packages, including a $25 Amazon gift card. So, the more you post, the more you increase your chance of winning. To learn more about the artists, see behind-the-scenes videos of their sculptures coming to life, and view the #ArtInBloom gallery, go to

More details, plus Art in Bloom map:


There are dozens more events at -- way too many to be listed here! 


The “Get Out!/Stay In” events column is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Thursdays.  

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