cherry-blossoms-dcWith its expansive of rolling green lawns, its white monuments and its clean streets, our capital, Washington D.C., is always a showplace for visitors from around the country and around the world.

But it’s never so beautiful as it is in early spring, when the cherry trees are in full bloom, their white petals decorating the streets of the city and properly welcoming another spring.

It’s been 98 years since the people of Tokyo presented the people of Washington D.C. with a gift of beauty, 3000 cherry trees.  This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival  runs from March 27 through April 11.  The two-week, city-wide event will kickoff on Family Day, March 27, with a variety of family-friendly craft spots, cultural performances and even a Bach to Rock Music School. The Washington Ballet will be featured at the Opening Ceremony.

In the spirit of the season, over 70 area restaurants will serve a variety of dishes, desserts and drinks inspired by cherry blossoms. Stop by the Festival Welcome Tents at the Tidal Basin or Festival Headquarters at Union Station to buy official Cherry Blossom Festival souvenirs (also available online!).

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will feature American Idol finalist Justin Guarini. The parade starts at 10 am on April 10, and is followed by the 50th annual Sakura Matsuri festival, the largest Japanese street festival in the country.

In a city blooming with history and culture, the cherry blossom festival is merely an adornment to the adventures visitors will find there any time of year.