The National Cherry Blossom Festival 2012 – The Main Events

Washington’s petal partiers will gather for the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s signature Pink Tie Party on Tuesday, March 20 at 7 PM. Chefs José Andrés and Roy Yamaguchi, innovators in the culinary community, will host the evening, exemplifying the international collaboration and creativity at the heart of the Festival. The sixth annual fundraiser and kick-off to the Centennial Celebration and the “season of the blossoms,” will be held at The Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel.

Family Days at the National Building Museum
March 24-25, 2012

An annual opening of Washington’s cherry blossom season expands to two days at this seventh annual family festival for “kids of all ages” featuring hands-on activities, interactive art demonstrations, and exciting indoor and outdoor performances that celebrate spring and explore Japanese arts and design.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony
March25, 2012

To launch the Centennial Celebration, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will collaborate with local and national entertainment to welcome springtime to Washington, DC. Guests will experience the story of how the gift of trees has developed into the nation’s greatest springtime celebration, as told through a series of traditional and contemporary performances. Upon arrival to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, guests will be greeted with a pre-show by strolling musicians, cultural exhibits, and historical imagery, creating an interactive, multi-sensory experience.

Blossom Kite Festival
March 31, 2012

The second annual Blossom Kite Festival presented by the National Cherry Blossom Festival showcases the creativity of kite makers and skill of kite fliers from across the US and other countries through a variety of competitions and demonstrations including the popular Hot Tricks Showdown and the Rokkaku Battle. Bring your own kites or children can make a kite at an activity station (while supplies last) to fly on the Public Field.

Performance State at Sylvan Theater
March 31 – April 15, 2012

In the shadow of the Washington Monument, this is the Festival’s primary stage. Enjoy recognized and diverse talent from around the region, country, and world, including varied genres of music and dance, martial arts exhibitions, marching bands, and more each day of the festival.

Waterfront Fireworks Festival
April 7, 2012

A fun-for-all-ages event with 3 stages featuring live music, and family-friendly water-related activities designed to entertain and educate, plus cherry-inspired food and beverages.

As a culmination of the festivities, watch the National Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks Show light up the night sky on the Washington Channel at 8:30 PM.

Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival
April 14, 2012

Enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere of the largest Japanese cultural festival in the United States, featuring food, arts and culture, merchandise, and live traditional and J-Pop performances on four stages, including martial arts demonstrations.


National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
April 14, 2012

Attend one of Washington’s most exciting springtime traditions – the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday, April 14, from 10am – noon, rain or shine. The Parade runs along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets, NW, and is simulcast live, in its entirety, on WJLA-ABC7 and NewsChannel8. Lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and performers burst down the historic avenue in an energy-filled spectacle of music and showmanship seen only once a year during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Jazz at the Jefferson
April 19 – 22, 2012

Perch on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial while enjoying jazz performances and spectacular views of the Tidal Basin. Local and regional jazz programming and music will be showcased as this signature Festival stage returns in 2012.

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