The 2020 National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled from March 20, 2020 to April 12, 2020. Unfortunately this year, the celebration will be virtual as the city self-quarantines to combat the Coronavirus. All events to include the The Opening Ceremony, the Blossom Kite Festival, Parade and Petalpalooza are all canceled.
The Pink Tie Party is noted as "postponed," however there is no further information available at this time.
On Saturday March 21st, a "quick" drive by the Tidal Basin turned out to be anything but, as the Blossom Lovers could not be kept away. Traffic was held up for hours as many from DC, Maryland and Virginia as well as vacationers came to see the trees.
Never in the history of the city have the events of the entire festival been canceled but we also have not seen a pandemic like this one in recent years.
How Did the Cherry Blossoms Come to Be?
The City of Tokyo sent the Cherry Blossoms to Washington D.C. as a gift to celebrate the growing friendship between the U.S. and Japan. In all, over 3000 trees were sent to the U.S. from Tokyo. But those followed 2000 other trees which were sent several months earlier - and ordered to be burned by President Taft. The Department of Agriculture discovered the first gifted trees were infested with insects.
The second group of trees were shipped by boat and arrived by train in DC on March 26, 1912. The wives of President Taft and the Japanese Ambassador planted the first two trees on March 27, 1912 and they are commemorated today with a plaque, where they still stand at their original spot at the end of 17th St SW, in West Potomac Park.