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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tempus fugit!!! Don't miss the Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms This Year!!!

by JC Leahy

The cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC have already begun to bloom!  They are spectacularly beautiful when they reach peak bloom.  Believe it or not, there are five stages of blooming BEFORE they reach the peak-bloom phase - 6 stages altogether.  So there is still time for you to plan your trip to the Tidal Basin.

The 6 stages of cherry blossom blooming are as follows:

1. Green buds -- Green buds appear in late February or early March
2. Florets appear-- Florets become visible on the green buds in early to mid March
3. Extension of the florets, 12-17 days before peak bloom
4. Peduncle elongation, 5-10 days before peak bloom. Frost can damage the blooms at this point.
5. Puffy whites appear, 4-6 days before peak bloom
6. Peak bloom

At the moment, our cherry blossoms are in the Peduncle Elongation phase.   The "blooming period" for you to take your best photographs lasts from several days before peak bloom, through the peak-bloom phase.  The blooming period can last as long as 14 days, if the weather coopertes.  This year, peak bloom is forecast to begin sometime between April 1 and April 4.

In case you want to plant your own cherry blossoms, you might like to know that the ones at the Tidal Basin are Yoshino cherry trees (Prunus x yedoensis).

CHERRY BLOSSOM EVENTS

There are an amazing number of events centered around the cherry blossoms.  Here's a list

Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection
Exhibition features 41 innovative garments and accessories created by Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, all drawn from the private collection/wardrobe of Mary Baskett.
Date: Oct 17, 2009 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: Tuesday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 1 to 5 pm. - Closed Mondays
Location: 2320 S Street, NW

Cornucopia: Ceramics from Southern Japan
Exhibition covers over three centuries of work, exploring the wide variety of local styles of glazing and decoration invented by potters from Kyushu (Southern Japan).
Date: Dec 19, 2009 - Jan 09, 2011
Time: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Location: Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art- 1050 Independence Avenue, SW

The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internments Camps, 1942-1946
A showcase of arts and crafts made by Japanese Americans in U.S. internment camps during World War II.
Date: Mar 05, 2010 - Jan 30, 2011
Time: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm
Location: Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum - Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW

Tidal Basin Paddle Boats
Enjoy the cherry blossoms from a paddle boat on the Tidal Basin!
Date: Mar 10, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: Tidal Basin Boat House - 1500 Maine Avenue, SW

Annual Pink Tie Party Fund-raiser
Kick off spring and the “Season of the Blossoms” in style with 20 top Washington chefs presenting their custom-designed, cherry-inspired dishes and cocktails, and bid on fabulous silent auction items.
Date: Mar 11, 2010 - Mar 11, 2010
Time: 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location: W Washington D.C. - 515 15th Street NW

National Park Service - Bloomin\' Junior Ranger - Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Only
Join National Park Service Rangers for fun and activities as they explore the history of the cherry blossoms!
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Tidal Basin Welcome Area (near the paddle boats)

National Park Service - Ranger Cherry Talks
Come celebrate the blooming of the cherry blossoms by joining a tour guided by a National Park Service Ranger. The stories which surround the rich natural and cultural history of these annual wonders will serve to enrich the experience of our visitors.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - Programs run from 20-60 minutes
Location: ALL TIMES LISTED - Two Meeting Points: Tidal Basin at the entrance of the FDR Memorial and at the Jefferson Memorial Welcome Center; SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS ONLY - Third Meeting Point: Hains Point (East Potomac Park) at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

Blossoms by Bike
Celebrate the arrival of spring with a two-hour bike ride specifically designed to showcase the natural beauty of the Nation’s Capital at its peak!
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: M-F: tours at 3:00 pm - Sat. & Sun: tours at 9:30 am, 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Location: Bike and Roll Kiosk - 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (rear plaza on 12th Street)

National Park Service - Cherry Chit-Chat Runs - Saturday and Sundays Only
Join National Park Service Rangers on an early morning jaunt and daybreak view of the blossoms.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 am
Location: Base of the Washington Monument

National Park Service - Ranger Guided Lantern Walks - Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays Only
The cherry blossoms by artificial light! Join a National Park Service Ranger for evening walks amongst the cherry trees.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Location: TWO MEETING POINTS: Tidal Basin Paddle Boats & Washington Monument Stone Lodge

Fairfax County: Glorious Gardens Self-Guided Tour
Self-guided tours through the gardens of Fairfax County at three locations: River Farm, Green Spring Gardens and Meadow Lark Gardens
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: Check Websites or Call for Hours and Directions
Location: River Farm/ Green Spring Gardens/ Meadow Lark Gardens
River Blossoms Tours
Cruise along and experience the magical view of the blossoms and Monuments from the river.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: M-Th: 12pm & 2pm, Fr-Su 10am, 12pm, 2pm, & 4pm - Tours last 90 minutes
Location: 1300 Maine Ave. SW, Washington DC, 20024

Weekend Cherry Blossom River Teas
Enjoy a charming English ‘High Tea’ aboard a classic yacht as you cruise along the blossoms. Offered on weekends only.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 11:30am and 1:30pm - Tours last 90 minutes
Location: Boats depart from Washington Marina - 1300 Maine Ave. SW

National Park Service - Ranger-led Bike Tours - Saturdays & Sundays Only
The history of Washington\'s cherry blossoms comes alive with three-hour bike tours led by a National Park Service ranger. Come explore the cultural and natural significance of these national treasures!
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Monuments-by-Moonlight River Cruise - Saturdays and Wednesdays Only
Enjoy a magnificent cruise along the illuminated Monuments, Landmarks and Kennedy Center.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 10, 2010
Time: 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm - 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Location: 1300 Maine Ave., SW Washington DC 20024

Community Cherry Blossom Art Show at Union Station
Blossom inspiration comes to life through the imagination of DC Public and Charter School students, grades 1-12, as seen in their artwork on display at Union Station.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Location: Union Station - 50 Massachusetts Ave., NE

Blossoms by Bike River Ride
Bike and Roll Alexandria: Blossoms by Bike River Ride NEW for 2010! Three-hour ride along the beautiful Mount Vernon Trail from Old Town into DC and through the sea of pink and white blossoms surrounding the Tidal Basin. Moderate ride: Not recommended for 12 and under.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 1:00pm - 4:00pm, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
Location: One Wales Alley, Alexandria, VA 22314

The 44th Annual Smithsonian Kite Festival
Fun for everyone, the 44th annual Smithsonian Kite Festival includes kite competitions, hands-on kite making activity tents and flying demonstrations led by representatives from national kite organizations.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Mar 27, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Washington Monument grounds - 17th & Constitution Ave, NW

Target Performance Stage at Sylvan Theatre
Daily performances featuring music, dance, and song by local, national and international performing artists.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: Begins at Noon - Held Daily
Location: Washington Monument Grounds - Independence Ave SW & Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW

National Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony
Ninety-eight years to the day of the first tree planting, the ceremonial kick-off to the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival features Washington dignitaries and performances by Japanese and western artists.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Mar 27, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: National Building Museum - 401 F Street NW

National Park Service - Family Fun Zone - Saturdays and Sundays Only
Park Rangers entertain and educate children about the trees of other national parks, and they practice writing in Japanese.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Jefferson Memorial

2010 Cherry Blossom Soccer Tournament
Thirty-two adult, co-ed, 7v7 teams from the Washington, DC metropolitan area compete for the Cherry Blossom Cup.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Mar 28, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Location: JFK Hockey & Soccer Fields - Independence Avenue & 17th Street, SW

The Blossoms Secrets Stroll - Weekend Afternoons and Monday and Friday Mornings Only
A walking tour recounting the story of how the Japanese cherry trees came to Washington, D.C.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: Monday & Friday: 10 am to Noon - Saturday & Sunday: 2 pm to 4 pm
Location: Meet at Smithsonian Station Independence Avenue exit

Cherry Blossom Photo Safaris
Washington Photo Safari uses the beautiful venue of the Tidal Basin at cherry blossom time to teach techniques of travel photography.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: Sunrise Safari: 6:15 - 8:30 am - Afternoon Safari: 3 - 5:30 pm
Location: Sunrise Safaris start at Paddle Boat Rental Station (1501 Maine Ave, SW) // Afternoon Safaris start at FDR Memorial bookstore

Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries
Self-guided tour of different species and cultivars of flowering cherries, including two introduced by the U.S. National Arboretum.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: U.S. National Arboretum - 3501 New York Avenue, NE

Hiroshima Children's Drawings: Finding Hope in the Aftermath of War
View 41 recently-restored drawings by children living in Hiroshima after World War II, sent to the children of All Souls Church in response to a gift of school supplies.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm / Closed on Sundays
Location: All Souls Church, Unitarian - 1500 Harvard Street, NW

National Cherry Blossom Festival Family Day presented with the National Building Museum
The National Cherry Blossom Festival and the National Building Museum celebrate the official opening of Washington, DC’s 2010 cherry blossom season with a family festival full of hands-on fun celebrating Spring and exploring Japanese arts and design.
Date: Mar 27, 2010 - Mar 27, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - 3:30 pm
Location: National Building Museum - 401 F Street, NW

Japanese-style Garden Days at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens
Explore Hillwood’s Japanese-style Garden and celebrate the cherry blossom season with a special tour of this extraordinary garden. Garden docents will provide insight into the garden and be on hand in the afternoon to bring it to life for visitors.
Date: Mar 30, 2010 - Mar 31, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens - 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW

Embassy of Japan Presents: Tempei Nakamura
Embassy of Japan is proud to present the pianist, Tempei Nakamura.
Date: Mar 30, 2010 - Mar 30, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Millennium Stage - 2700 F St., NW

Samurai Orchids and Other Japanese Orchid Treasures
Renowned Japanese orchid expert Jason Fischer will explore the history and traditional culture of the Japanese fascination with the orchid, which is respected and displayed similar to bonsai.
Date: Mar 31, 2010 - Mar 31, 2010
Time: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: United States Botanic Gardens - 245 First Street, S.W.

Embassy of Japan Presents: Kaishi Katsura
Embassy of Japan is proud to present the English Rakugo with Mr. Kaishi Katsura.
Date: Mar 31, 2010 - Mar 31, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Millennium Stage - 2700 F St., NW

Beyond America: The Creativity of Japanese Subcultures
In this special evening lecture, Dr. Hiroshi Marumi, an associate professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, provides a post-war history of Japanese subcultures and considers their origins.
Date: Apr 01, 2010 - Apr 01, 2010
Location: 2320 S Street, NW

Second Annual Cherry Blast Offers an Evening of Eclectic Art
The National Cherry Blossom Festival presents \\\"Cherry Blast: A Night of Contemporary Art + Music,\\\" produced by The Pink Line Project.
Date: Apr 02, 2010 - Apr 02, 2010
Time: 9:00 pm - 1:00 am
Location: 1701 Florida Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20009

Southwest Waterfront Musical Prelude to the Fireworks
Produced by the Washington Waterfront Association, enjoy musical entertainment by military and local musical groups, family-friendly activities and food and beverage prior to the fireworks.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Waterfront Park - 600 Water Street, SW

National Cherry Blossom Festival Fireworks Show
Enjoy a spectacular fireworks show from the Washington Channel.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: 8:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Location: Southwest Waterfront - 7th Street & Maine Ave., SW

Twelfth Annual Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk
Celebrate the Japanese American spirit of patriotism and the 10th anniversary of the National Japanese American Memorial.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: National Japanese American Memorial - D Street & New Jersey Avenue, NW

Eighth Annual Anime Marathon Film Festival
In celebration of this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival, the Freer Gallery of Art presents a day-long festival of Anime films in the Meyer Auditorium.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: Start Time to be determined - Marathon finishes
Location: Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art - 1050 Independence Avenue, SW

Cherry Blossom Regatta
PHRF sailboat regatta organized by the Dangerfield Island Sailing Club, and sponsored by the Washington Sailing Marina and Indigo Landing Restaurant.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: Skippers Meeting at 11:00 am in the Afterdeck Cafe - Finish Time TBD
Location: Washington Sailing Marina - George Washington parkway, Marina Drive, Alexandria VA

Cherry Blossom Fireworks Dinner Cruise
Cruise aboard the Spirit of Washington for an evening with a beautiful buffet, live entertainment, DJ dancing, views of the nations capital and the spectacular festival fireworks.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: Board 7pm - Cruise from 8-11pm
Location: Pier 4 - 6th & Water Street SW

Silver Spring\'s Big Cherry Block Party
Enjoy an all-day block party with arts and crafts, entertainment and exhibitors in Downtown Silver Spring.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Location: 908 Ellsworth Drive / Silver Spring, MD 20910

Arts for Families: Fun with Fans
Learn about fashion designer Issey Miyake\'s unique pleating technique in the exhibition Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection and decorate your own Japanese fan to take home.
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Location: 2320 S Street, NW

Fireworks Cruise on the Celebrity!
Enjoy the Festival’s fireworks show from aboard your own 100’ yacht!
Date: Apr 03, 2010 - Apr 03, 2010
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Location: 1300 Maine Ave., SW Washington DC 20024

Lantern Lighting Ceremony
The 359-year old stone lantern is lit in a formal ceremony featuring traditional Japanese performers, Washington dignitaries, and the Cherry Blossom Princesses representing the U.S. State Societies.
Date: Apr 04, 2010 - Apr 04, 2010
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Tidal Basin at Independence Ave & 17th Street, SW

Cherry Blossom Gala Dinner Cruise Aboard the Odyssey
Cruise past the cherry blossoms that line the Potomac while enjoying a four-course dinner, live entertainment and dancing in the glass atrium dining rooms with monumental views of nation’s capital at night.
Date: Apr 08, 2010 - Apr 08, 2010
Time: Boarding at 6:00 pm - Cruise from 7:00 - 10:00 pm
Location: Gangplank Marina - 6th & Water streets, SW

Woodrow Wilson Performance Stage
In Conjunction with its 125th anniversary tour featuring an interactive exhibit, Good Housekeeping Research Institute, together with IKEA, sponsors musicians and performance groups on Woodrow Wilson Plaza.
Date: Apr 09, 2010 - Apr 10, 2010
Time: 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

23rd Annual George Washington University Crew Invitational
Largest rowing event in the Washington, DC-metro area.
Date: Apr 09, 2010 - Apr 10, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Location: Best Viewing from Georgetown Waterfront and Thompson Boat Center - 2900 Virginia Ave, NW

National Conference of State Societies' Cherry Blossom Grand Ball and Sushi Reception
Be there for event that caps-off the Cherry Blossom Princess festivities -- the crowning of the 2010 United States Cherry Blossom Queen!
Date: Apr 09, 2010 - Apr 09, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm - Midnight
Location: Grand Hyatt at Washington Center - 1000 H Street, NW

Tamagawa University Presents: Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Group
Tamagawa Univeristy is proud to present the Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Group.
Date: Apr 09, 2010 - Apr 09, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Millennium Stage - 2700 F St., NW
National Japan Bowl
The Japan Bowl is an academic team competition for high school students from across the nation.
Date: Apr 09, 2010 - Apr 09, 2010
Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: National 4-H Youth Conference Center - 7100 Connecticut Avenue Chevy Chase, MD


PM at TM- Hapi Hapi Hour at The Textile Museum
\"Hapi Hapi Hour at The Textile Museum Program Category: Art & Culture, Food & Drink, Dance & Music Celebrate Japanese pop culture and fashion at The Textile Museum after-hours. Enjoy Japanese refreshments, live music and gallery talks in the exhibition Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection.
Date: Apr 09, 2010 - Apr 09, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Location: 2320 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008

Harmonia Opera Company Presents: Amanjaku and Princess Urikohime
Harmonia Opera Company, the only professional Japanese opera company in the United States, will perform the opera, Amanjaku and Urikohime, as well as folksongs and other selections.
Date: Apr 10, 2010 - Apr 10, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Millennium Stage - 2700 F St., NW

44th Annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament
Invitation-only Rugby Tournament features best teams from across the United States in Men’s club, College Men and Women’s Division, as well as High School teams.
Date: Apr 10, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Location: Rosecroft Raceway - 6338 Rosecroft Drive Ft. Washington, MD 26744

50th Sakura Matsuri - Japanese Street Festival
The Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. presents the nation’s largest Japanese street festival, stretching for six blocks through downtown DC!
Date: Apr 10, 2010 - Apr 10, 2010
Time: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Location: Downtown DC - Pennsylvania Ave. between 14th & 10th streets; and 12th Street between Pennsylvania & Constitution avenues


National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Enjoy this long-standing Washington tradition featuring marching bands, floats, balloons, and other family entertainment.
Date: Apr 10, 2010 - Apr 10, 2010
Time: 10:00 am - Noon
Location: Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets, NW

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and 5K Run-Walk
World-class runners and 12,000 running enthusiasts take part in the 36th running of the “Runner’s Rite of Spring.”
Date: Apr 11, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: 7:45 am - 11:30 am
Location: Washington Monument Grounds (15th and Jefferson Dr., SW).

Corcoran Family Day: Lights, Camera, Action!
A day of Family fun at the Corcoran featuring ukiyo-e workshop and “Blossoms in Bloom” photo contest.
Date: Apr 11, 2010 - Apr 11, 2010
Time: TDB
Location: The Corcoran Gallery of Art - 500 17th Street NW

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