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Pretty in Pink

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Soon all of Washington, D.C. will be blossom-crazy thanks to the upcoming National Cherry Blossom Festival –  a signature event for the capital region – set for March 20 through April 27. This year, all the stops are being pulled out as the celebration marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington.

If you haven’t yet had the chance to see the blossoms, you should. The formation of trees around the Tidal Basin is quite magical. It’s like walking amidst clouds of pink and white. As the petals shed, you have nature’s perfect confetti.

Washington Monument, Washington, D.C., April 2, 2007. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith. Prints & Photographs Division.

At the annual news conference held this morning at the Newseum, organizers highlighted the bevy of festival-related programming. The morning’s big announcement: Chief Horticulturalist of the National Park Service, Robert DeFeo, predicted the cherry blossoms will peak this year between March 24 and March 31. Official events include a fireworks display on April 7 and the Japanese street festival and annual parade on April 14. More information can be found at the festival’s official website.

The Library of Congress is also celebrating the milestone with an exhibition titled “Sakura: Cherry Blossoms as Living Symbols of Friendship,” opening on Tuesday, March 20, in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition runs through Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. More information can be found here.

Additional free events at the Library will include a series of gallery talks on the exhibition, a lecture by former Ambassador John Malott on the 1912 gift of the flowering cherry trees and an event for children, “Japanese Culture Day.” Here is a full listing of the Library’s related programming.

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