It has been a tradition that every cherry blossom season in the spring there’s a festival in Washington DC each year to celebrate the blooming of the sakuras. With the pandemic, there is no safe way for everyone to be able to enjoy the festival in person. This year, Washington DC has been heavily guarded on where the festival would usually take place because of how high risk the area is for COVID and security. Since there are many dangers of having it fully in person this year, the DC Cherry Blossoms Board of Directors Executive Committee decided to have most of the festival online.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a tradition that has been carried on for many years from March 20 up until April 11. This festival celebrates the gift that was given to DC by the mayor of Tokyo in 1912. The United States was gifted with 3,000 cherry trees which has now been toured and visited in DC for years now. 700,000 people visit DC to see the blossoms each year, on average.
This year, the cherry blossoms bloomed at the end of March and reached their peak in the beginning of April. With the petals being fully bloomed a week early, this brings many tourists and visitors to DC. The Festival Committee decided to start taking baby steps and start limiting the amount of people who go and visit the infamous cherry blossom.
Diana Mayhew, executive director, shared her thoughts on how she thinks people shouldn’t make the mistake of ignoring the pandemic by heading into crowds at the Tidal Basin, “We really hope that people are being smart. We’ve all gone through enough this past year that we don’t want to revert back.”