cherry blossoms

10 Fun Facts about DC’s Cherry Blossoms & Annual Festival

1. The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki to Washington, DC.

2. The average lifespan of a cherry blossom tree is only 20 to 30 years, but nearly 100 of the original trees from 1912 still thrive at the Tidal Basin due to the maintenance of the National Park Service.

3. Over 1.5 million people attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival each year.

4. The first “festival” began as a small celebration in 1927, and expanded to a two-week event in 1994. In 2012, for the 100th anniversary of the trees, the festival became a five-week celebration.

5. The festival offers over 200 free performances.

6. The festival adds new cherry blossom trees to the region each spring. In 2012 and 2013, staff and volunteers planted 200 trees in DC’s Oxon Run Park.

7. The mean bloom date for cherry blossoms is April 4, and the peak bloom date is defined as the day on which 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino cherry trees are open.

8. There are some 3,750 cherry blossom trees of 16 varieties on National Park Service land.

9. The 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival theme is “Connecting People to Parks,” in honor of the National Park Service’s Centennial.

10. The 2016 Blossom Kite Festival will celebrate 50 years of kite flying on the National Mall.

Fun facts courtesy of the National Cherry Blossom Festival organization:www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.