Metro Weekly

National Cherry Blossom Festival opens March 25

Festival kicks off despite cold weather damage to some of the cherry blossoms

National Cherry Blossom Festival

Though roughly half the cherry blooms were damaged by last week’s below-freezing temperatures, the Tidal Basin is still expected to be ringed in pink-hued blossoms this weekend.

That’s just in time for organizers to officially kick off the National Cherry Blossom Festival with an Opening Ceremony concert featuring performers including Shigeyama Kyogen, “Light Dance” dancers in EL Squad from the Wrecking Crew Orchestra, multilingual J-pop artist May J and the 6821 Quintet, named after the distance between D.C. and Tokyo.

Saturday, March 25, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW. Free, but advanced tickets required.

The following week comes the seventh annual Blossom Kite Festival showcasing the creativity of kitemakers and skill of fliers through a variety of competitions and demonstrations. Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Grounds of the Washington Monument near 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Visit

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Doug Rule covers the arts, theater, music, food, nightlife and culture as contributing editor for Metro Weekly.

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