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NPS Announces Peak Bloom for 2014 Cherry Blossoms

The 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival, from March 20-April 13, commemorates the 102nd anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees.

When is peak bloom? The 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC is March 20-April 13. Patch archive photo
When is peak bloom? The 2014 Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC is March 20-April 13. Patch archive photo
The National Park Service announced Tuesday that the peak bloom time for the cherry blossoms this year will be April 8-12.

With all the snow the area has seen lately, it's hard to believe the 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival is right around the corner. 

The annual festival begins on March 20, continuing through April 13. But the trees don't always cooperate with the dates on the calendar.

The average peak bloom date (from 1992 to 2013) for the trees, a gift from Japan 102 years ago, is March 31. Last year, the peak bloom occurred on April 9. In 2012, peak bloom occurred on March 20. 

The Peak Bloom Date is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin are open. This date varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions.

Here are the peak bloom periods for the last 10 years:
  1. 2013: April 9
  2. 2012: March 20
  3. 2011: March 29
  4. 2010: March 31
  5. 2009: April 1
  6. 2008: March 26
  7. 2007: April 1
  8. 2006: March 30
  9. 2005: April 9
  10. 2004: March 31
While there are many events associated with the festival, the most significant is likely the parade, scheduled for Saturday, April 12, from 10 a.m. to noon. Tickets to the parade are $20 for grandstand seating. Standing along the parade route, from Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets, NW, is free and open to the public. 

Another fun event is the fireworks show, set for Saturday night, April 5 on the Southwest Waterfront. Fireworks will start at 8:30 p.m.

Some of the 2014 merchandise available for purchase includes an official poster for $12, lapel pins for $5 and T-shirts in a variety of sizes (the long-sleeve adult T-shirt is $25).

A 2014 National Cherry Blossom Festival map can be found here.

Tell us: Do you plan to go to the National Cherry Blossom Festival this year?

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