Offering four weeks of events for the whole family, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of D.C.'s most popular springtime celebrations! But this year is going to look different.
This article was updated at 12 p.m. ET on March 13 to reflect the most recent developments.
It's March, and that means the National Cherry Blossom Festival is usually just around the corner! This festival not only celebrates the coming of spring, but also the international friendship between the United States and Japan. Originally scheduled for March 20 through April 12, the Cherry Blossom Festival is experiencing several event cancellations due to coronavirus concerns. The latest information is below.
Pro-tip: Just because the events are canceled doesn't mean that nature's canceled! To embrace the cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin during peak bloom, visit between March 21 and March 24!
Pink Tie Party (POSTPONED*)
Friday, March 20 | 7–11 p.m.
This chic 21-and-over event features an open bar, live entertainment, and enticing cuisine. Marvel at the creative talents of local designers and models as D.C.'s fashion district shows off their festival-inspired garments. In addition, bet on celebrity memorabilia at the silent auction with all proceeds going to National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc. In regards to transportation, this event is held in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, making the closest Metro the Federal Triangle stop. For tickets and accommodations, visit the official event page!
*This event has been postponed. They are looking to reschedule; the silent auction will still be held online.
SAAM Cherry Blossom Celebration (CANCELING AS SCHEDULED; MAY LIVESTREAM*)
Saturday, March 21 | 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
The Warner Theatre hosts this free, family-friendly event that is dedicated to celebrating Japanese culture. The day starts out with a taiko drumming performance, which is followed by Les the DJ and Koto Ensemble dancers. This event also has a ton of activities for children and families to enjoy, like face painting, cherry blossom crafts, and even an art scavenger hunt!
*This event will not take place at the Warner Theatre as scheduled; they are considering live-streaming the event. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available.
Blossom Kite Festival (CANCELED)
Saturday, March 28 | 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
The grounds of the Washington Monument come alive with thousands of kites for the Blossom Kite Festival. This beautiful spectacle features demonstrations, competitions, and even kite trick showdowns! This event is free and just down the road from the Smithsonian Metro Station. People are free to bring their own kites, but there will be several kites available for purchase on-site.
This year's kite festival has been canceled.
National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (CANCELED)
Saturday, April 4 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
This spring tradition is one of D.C.'s most popular spectator events! Constitution Avenue is taken over by impressive floats, colorful helium balloons, and energetic performers in a dazzling springtime display. The event is rain or shine, and grandstand seating is available by ticket purchase. There is also plenty of standing room between 9th and 15th St. NW that is free to the public. While the full parade route is close to several Metro stations (get the full list here), the Smithsonian station is the closest to 7th St.
This year's parade has been canceled (announced March 13).
Saturday, April 11 | 1–9 p.m.
This signature event is free to the public and offers fun all day for the whole family! Along the banks of the Anacostia River, in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Capitol Riverfront, people gather to enjoy a day of music, art, and activities. Multiple stages will feature all kinds of live music, vendors, a beer garden, and even interactive art installations! Close out the day and the festival with a stunning firework display accompanied by music. For this event, the closest Metro is the Navy Yard-Ballpark Station.
This year's Petalpalooza has been canceled (announced March 13).
The Tidal Basin Welcome Area has also been canceled, and the Anacostia River Festival is postponed until Sunday, August 9, 2020.
Keep up-to-date on latest developments via the festival's website press page.
Do you have a favorite event? Let us know in the comments!