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March 1, 2022

goDCgo’s Guide to the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival

by Korrea Johnston

Bring on the blossoms! The world-renowned National Cherry Blossom Festival is making an in-person return this year, so be sure you’re prepared to make the most of this popular experience. Since this annual spring celebration attracts thousands of visitors, goDCgo encourages you to plan ahead for the events you want to attend and we’ll tell you the best ways to get there. We highly recommend leaving the car behind due to increased traffic and limited parking across the city. Instead, try one of the many alternative transportation modes available in the District like Capital Bikeshare, DC Circulator, Metrobus, Metrorail, or electric scooters. Review the routes you can take below, download our 2022 Getting to the Blossoms Guide, or plan your trip using our custom interactive map with highlighted festival events.

In addition to the festival events, some of DDOT’s transit services will be unveiling their one-of-a-kind vehicles to get you in the spring spirit, too! You can’t miss DC Circulator’s “Blossom Bus,” externally wrapped in themed decor. While it’s perfect for post-worthy pictures, the “Blossom Bus” can also get you to the blossoms for just $1 and it will be staged at a few events, so be on the lookout. You may also find Capital Bikeshare’s “Bike in Bloom” making its way around the city. The “Bike in Bloom” is a specially wrapped cherry blossom bike that you should keep your eye out for while participating in the festivities.

 

Opening Ceremony

Co-presented with The Japan Foundation, the Opening Ceremony celebrates Japanese culture and the longstanding friendship between Japan and the US, featuring special performances by Minyo Crusaders, Keisho Ohno, Toshihiro Yuta, and Kamui. Tickets are available now. This free event will also be livestreamed via YouTube.

Date: Sunday, March 20 from 5-6:30pm

Location: Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • Metro Center/12 & G St NW
    • 11th & F St NW
    • 10 & E St NW
    • 14th & D St NW/Ronald Reagan Building
  • Metrorail: Red, blue, orange, or silver line to Metro Center station
  • Metrobus: 54, S2, 32, 33

 

Tidal Basin Welcome Area

The Tidal Basin Welcome Area showcases a variety of performers, celebrating the friendship symbolized by the gift of flowering cherry trees from Tokyo to DC, demonstrating a cross-cultural exchange through a dynamic mix of American, Japanese, and other cultural performing arts. This also serves as the main hub for viewing the blossoms.

Date(s): March 26-27; April 2-3, 9-10, 16-17; and Peak Bloom

Location: Tidal Basin

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 17th St & Independence Ave SW
    • Jefferson Memorial
    • Ohio Dr & West Basin Dr SW / MLK & FDR Memorials
  • DC Circulator: National Mall route
  • Metrorail: Blue, orange, or silver line to Smithsonian station
  • Metrobus: 16E, 52

 

Blossom Kite Festival

Rediscover the joy of kite flying with this long-standing DC tradition! This is a free, in-person event with virtual options to fly kites from your favorite neighborhood park or anywhere across the globe.

Date: Saturday, March 26 from 10am-4:30pm (Rain Date: Sunday, March 27 from 10am-4:30pm)

Location: Washington Monument (north side between 15th and 17th Street NW)

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 15th St & Constitution Ave NW
    • 19th St & Constitution Ave NW
  • DC Circulator: National Mall route
  • Metrorail: Blue, orange, or silver line to either Federal Triangle or Smithsonian station
  • Metrobus: 16E, 52

 

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade®

As one of DC’s largest spectator events, this energy-filled celebration runs for 10 blocks and brings colorful balloons, elaborate floats, marching bands, celebrity entertainers, and performers. Standing room portions of the parade are free for public viewing on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets ranging from $25-40 are available for reserved grandstand seating in the performance areas.

Date: Saturday, April 9 from 10am-12pm

Location: Constitution Avenue NW between 7th and 17th Street NW

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 10th St & Constitution Ave NW
    • 15th St & Constitution Ave NW
  • DC Circulator: National Mall route
  • Metrorail
    • Blue, orange, or silver line to Smithsonian station
    • Green or yellow line to Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station
  • Metrobus: S2, 33, 64, 70, 79

 

Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival

See, hear, taste, and experience Japan for the 60th anniversary of the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival! Recognized as the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in the US, the festival will now be held over two days for the first time. National and international performers, artists, and restaurants travel to the District to share their love of Japanese culture and traditions. One-day early bird tickets cost $10 and two-day early bird tickets cost $15. Special ticket packages are also available.

Date(s): Saturday, April 9 from 10:30am-6pm and Sunday, April 10 from 10:30am-4pm

Location: Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 7th Street NW

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 4th St & Madison Dr NW
    • Constitution Ave & 2nd St NW/DOL
    • 6th St & Indiana Ave NW
  • DC Circulator: National Mall route
  • Metrorail: Green or yellow line to Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter station
  • Metrobus: 32, 36, P6

 

Anacostia River Festival

This will be the eighth annual festival celebrating the Anacostia River, park, and neighborhood. Experience musical performances that amplify the stories, culture, and heritage of neighboring African American residents including go-go music, local drum lines, and military bands. This free event will also stream live on 11th Street Bridge Park’s social media platforms (@DCBridgePark). In addition to concerts, pre-registered residents and visitors alike can engage in socially-distant river activities such as canoeing and fishing along the Anacostia River. Visit bridgepark.org to register.

Date: Sunday, April 10 from 1-4pm

Location: Anacostia Park between Good Hope Road & Anacostia Drive SE

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • Anacostia Park
    • 16th & Q St SE/Anacostia High School
  • DC Circulator: Congress Heights-Union Station route
  • Metrorail: Green line to Anacostia station
  • Metrobus: 90, A2, A4, A6, A8, P6, W2, W3, W6, W8

 

Petalpalooza

This free festival finale for all ages takes over the Capitol Riverfront with art, music, interactive art installations, a beer garden, family-friendly hands-on activities, and more, all along the Anacostia River. The evening is capped by a dazzling fireworks show set to music.

Date: Saturday, April 16 from 1-9pm (Rain Date: Sunday, April 17 from 5-9pm)

Location: The Yards Park, 355 Water Street SE

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 3rd & Tingey St SE
    • 3rd & M St SE
    • 4th & M St SE
  • DC Circulator: Eastern Market-L’Enfant Plaza route
  • Metrorail: Green line to Navy Yard-Ballpark station
  • Metrobus: P6, V4

 

Petalpalooza Art Walk

You can enjoy this series of five immersive, Instagrammable art installations crafted by local artists in the two weeks leading up to Petalpalooza.

Date(s): April 1-17

Location: Capitol Riverfront

How to Get There:

  • Capital Bikeshare
    • 3rd & Tingey St SE
    • 3rd & M St SE
    • 4th & M St SE
  • DC Circulator: Eastern Market-L’Enfant Plaza route
  • Metrorail: Green line to Navy Yard-Ballpark station
  • Metrobus: P6, V4

 

Art in Bloom

Launched in 2021, the Art in Bloom program celebrates the mystique of the District while showcasing its vibrant arts scene. This year, the community-wide visual arts exhibition will make a return, featuring cherry blossom statues designed by local artists and the internationally renowned Patrick Guyton. All are invited to once again celebrate spring by scouting the blossoms throughout the city and capturing the moment on social media. Sculpture locations for 2022 will be announced soon! For the latest updates, join the email list.



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