The Pink Tie Party officially kicked off the 2024 National Cherry Blossom festival. Courtesy of Fredo Vasquez

By Southwester Staff

The 2024 cherry blossom season got off to an early start, reaching peak bloom before the end of March. Even so, spring-themed celebrations honoring the blossoms continue throughout April.

National Cherry Blossom Festival 
Tidal Basin

Running from Wednesday, March 20 through Sunday, April 14, the official National Cherry Blossom festival kicked off with a Pink Tie Party at Union Station. Fashion, food and drink purveyors focused on the theme of spring and highlighted the culture of Japan in honor of the nation’s gift of the cherry blossoms to Washington, DC. Other community events include: 

Blossom Block Party. Wednesday, April 3. 12:00 p.m. – to 3:00 p.m., Art In Bloom sculpture reveal, 1:00 pm. Live music, face painters, vendors, and food trucks. Maryland Linear Park, Maryland Avenue, SW. 

Blossoms and Baseball. Saturday, April 6, 4:05 p.m. Join the Nationals as they take the field against the Philadelphia Phillies. Nats Park. 

Preservation & Creation Workshop. Saturday, April 6. 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. National Museum of Asian Art, Jefferson Drive SW. Children ages three to eight and their caretakers will learn conservators care for museum collections and can create and preserve their own cherry blossom-inspired art.

Petalpalooza at Capitol Riverfront. Saturday, April 6. 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., fireworks 8:30 p.m. A full day of live music, art, and play with family-friendly hands-on activities.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. Saturday, April 13, 10:00 a.m. Constitution Avenue NW, between 7th and 17th Streets. 

Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival. Saturday, April 13 – Sunday, April 14. The largest celebration of Japanese culture in the United States features over 24 hours of Japanese cultural performances on four stages (including J-Pop, traditional Japanese music, and martial arts) and a diverse range of cultural exhibitors, artisan and commercial vendors. 

National Museum of Asian Art
National Mall 

A visit to the National Museum of Asian Art helps tell the story of DC’s famed spring festival. The revered sakura, or cherry blossoms, have been celebrated in landscapes, figure paintings, and prints by artists from medieval Japan to Katsushika Hokusai and beyond. 

Variously thought of as representing the impermanence of things and the joy of spending time together admiring the blossoms, sakura are symbols of joy and cultural meaning.

In Washington, DC, the cherry tree has become a cherished symbol of the friendship between Japan and the United States. It all began in 1912, when Washington saw the arrival of more than 3,000 Japanese cherry trees, the first two of which were planted in West Potomac Park by First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the ambassador of Japan to the United States. 

Don’t miss out on hanami, the traditional Japanese custom of “flower viewing.” Celebrate from home with an array of programs and activities that the National Museum of Asian Art is bringing to your fingertips. Take your group on an interactive docent tour to learn about cherry blossoms in our collections. Explore more Japanese art on your own time with our Objects We Love video series. Take a break and meditate with cherry blossom-themed art in an online Meditation and Mindfulness session, and use specially designed cherry blossom art backgrounds in your next Zoom call.

To keep those memories with you all year long, the museum’s gift shop offers a special collection of treasures at

L’Enfant Plaza 

ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds is an original creation from the ARTECHOUSE Studio that builds upon the success of the Pixelbloom series while introducing Isekai, a subgenre of fantasy anime and manga, to create a fresh visual narrative. It runs from March 9 to June 1 at 1233 Maryland Avenue SW. 

Isekai translates to other worlds in English, hinting at the immersive multiverse adventure awaiting visitors as they embark on a cherry blossom trail.

Appropriate for all ages, the exhibit seamlessly blends the rich, fantastical elements of the Isekai genre and Japanese pop culture with cutting-edge, immersive digital art, taking visitors on an enchanting journey through multiple parallel worlds. 

At the heart of the exhibition is a cinematic, audio-visual experience guided by the point of view of a flying bot. Visitors can deepen their engagement with installations that transform gallery walls into life-sized manga pages, animated by visitors’ own “Hero-poses,” while another gallery offers speech-enabled interactions with characters from the Isekai worlds. 

Additionally, a reimagined karaoke experience offers a unique blend of music and visual engagement. The highlight is the Manga Studio, where a robotic arm brings drawings to life in real-time, adorning the studio walls with its artwork. This distinctive experience is the result of a collaboration with BRDG Studios from Philadelphia, renowned for their expertise in merging digital and physical realms.

Tickets are $17-31 with special pricing for families Monday–Friday and can be booked in advance at

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