Cherry Blossom Festival 2023 Peak Date, Other Events Announced

The National Cherry Blossom Bus, which Mayor Bowser says has been “stopping in other nice cities on the way to the best city in the world,” made its final stop at the Conrad, Washington, DC on Wednesday where the National Cherry Blossom Festival team, officials and stakeholders held a press conference to invite the region to “Spring It On” during the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival, officially being held March 20-April 16.

DC’s annual four weeks of art, culture, and entertainment to celebrate spring and international diplomacy, which began with the 1912 gift of cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC is gearing up, but first, the city needed to know when to expect the best and biggest blooms.

Jeff Reinbold, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, announced the predicted peak bloom dates in style — with local Dance for Life dancers!

Likening the trees to teenagers — “there’s a lot going on there right now” — Reinbold admitted that, “emerging from the third warmest winter on record, this has been a particularly challenging year to read the trees and project peak bloom.”

Still, with current data, the projected date when 70% of the Yoshino cherry trees will be in bloom, or peak bloom, is March 22 – 25!  To embrace the full breadth of the blooming period, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Dates have been advanced by two days, from March 18 – April 16.

The Tidal Basin is a highlight of the festival, and indeed, it is where more than 150 free live performances and educational events will take place March 18 – April 2 among perfect views of the blossoms during peak bloom (rain or shine). 

“The Tidal Basin is the main event for the Cherry Blossoms,” Mayor Bowser admitted, “but as you move around the city in all eight wards you will see beautiful blossoms and events to celebrate the festival.”

And here are some of our favorites:

  • The Pink Tie Party is back! Thursday, March 16th at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.
  • 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival 10 miler.
  • The Sakura Matsuri-Japanese Street Festival is back for two days again this year, April 15-16.
  • And you won’t want to miss special “Cherry Picks” menus at restaurants all over town!

In addition, some other fun from the launch event included the news that Mickey and Minnie Mouse would serve as Parade Grand Marshalls on April 15th, with the parade host being none other than Lisa Ann Walter, a DC native, famously on the hit show Abbott Elementary!

Metro will again be offering a commemorative smart trip card, and if you’re looking for the best and perhaps cheapest ($1) cherry blossom tour of DC… the Circulator — which goes through all eight wards — has a route, the DC Circulator National Mall route, that goes right by the blossoms and makes stops directly on the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. memorials, as well as in front of the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

And if you aren’t able to be in DC, don’t forget that audiences across the globe will be able to view the Tidal Basin and cherry blossoms at peak bloom with the return of the #BloomCam, supported by Trust for the National Mall.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kate Michael (@kstreetkate)