Calendar of Events for the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival

Don't Miss These Family Fun Spring Events in Washington DC

The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC includes more than 200 special events and performances each year. The festival brings people together to participate in a wide range of fun activities, celebrating the season and Japanese culture. This is a curated guide to the best events of the season (rather than overwhelming you with all of them). Please note this page includes ongoing events at the top of the page and continues with a section for each week of the festival.

For more information about visiting Washington DC and an overall guide to things to do throughout the cherry blossom season, see the Best of the 2017 Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC.

2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival Dates: March 20 – April 15

Peak Bloom Period : 2018 Dates to Be Announced. These are the prime dates to visit the Tidal Basin and see the cherry trees in full color. 

  • 01 of 05

    Ongoing Events (Various Dates Continuing through the Season)

    Japanese.jpg
    ••• Photo © Todd Keith

    Daily Stage Performances
    Free music, dance, song and martial arts demonstrations. The line-up will include a wide variety of cultural offerings including vocalists, bands, dancers, drum performances, exhibitions and more.  
    Dates: March 20-April 15, 2018
    Times: noon-6 p.m.
    Locations: Jefferson Memorial and Tidal Basin Paddle Boat Parking Area

    NCBF Sponsored Sporting Events
    Rugby, walks, runs and more
    Dates: Vary
    Locations: Vary

    Free Cherry Blossom Tours
    National Park Service Rangers lead Cherry Talks/Walks, Junior Ranger Programs, and Lantern Tours.
    Dates: To Be Announced
    Times: Vary
    Locations: Vary

  • 02 of 05

    Week of March 20-27, 2018

    CineMatsuri - Japanese Film Festival 
    Screening of five recent Japanese films, each in a different genre, showcasing the diversity and richness of Japanese filmmaking.

    Dates: To Be Announced
    Times: Vary
    Location:  Multiple locations throughout the Washington DC area

    Cherry Blossom Festival Opening Ceremony
    The opening ceremony includes a variety of live Japanese entertainment.   Advanced Tickets are required.
    Date: March 24, 2018.
    Time: 5 - 6:30 p.m.
    Location: Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW Washington DC

  • 03 of 05

    Week of March 28-April 3, 2018

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    ••• Cherry Blossom Kite Festival in Washington DC. Photo © A Feller

     

    Blossom Kite Festival
    Kite flying competition, special demonstrations and kite making for children.
    Date: March 31, 2018
    Time: 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Location: National Mall - Constitution Avenue & 17th Streets, NW Washington DC​

    Cherry Blossom Freedom Walk
    Walk, keynote speakers, Japanese and Palestinian folk dancing.
    Date: To Be Announced
    Time: 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m
    Location: National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism, Louisiana and New Jersey Aves. and D St. NW. Washington DC

    Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony
    Formal ceremonial lighting of the Japanese Stone Lantern
    Date:To Be Announced
    Time: 3 p.m.
    Location: North side of the Tidal Basin, at the west end of Kutz Bridge at Independence Avenue and 17th Street, SW Washington DC

  • 04 of 05

    Week of April 4-10, 2018

    Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival
    Hands-on activities, musical entertainment, food and drink.
    Date: To Be Announced
    Time: 2 - 9 p.m.
    Location: Southwest Waterfront, 600-900 Water Street, SW Washington DC

    National Cherry Blossom Festival® Fireworks Show

    Date: To Be Announced
    Time: 8:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather, the fireworks portion of the evening will be rescheduled for Sunday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. 
    Location: Southwest Waterfront, 600 Water Street, SW Washington DC

    Anacostia River Festival
    The event merges the arts, health, environment, and recreation, with activities including canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, bike riding, and nature walks.
    Date: To Be Announced
    Time: 1 - 5 p.m.
    Location: Anacostia Park, 1900 Anacostia Drive, SE Washington, DC

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Week of April 11-15, 2018

    CBF Parade
    ••• CBF Parade. Photo © Rachel Cooper

    Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival®
    Marching bands, floats, dance troupes, giant helium balloons and special celebrity guests.
    Date: April 14, 2018
    Time: 10:00 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Location: Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC, from 7th to 17th Streets
    See Parade Photos

    Sakura Matsuri - Japanese Street Festival
    Arts, crafts, demonstrations, live entertainment, food and drink.
    Date: April 14, 2018
    Time: Following the parade, 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    Location: Capitol Riverfront, M St and New Jersey Ave., SE Washington DC
    See Photos of the Japanese Street Festival

     

Planning to visit from out of town?

See a complete Washington DC Travel Planning Guide with tips on the best time to visit, how long to stay, where to stay, what to do, how to get around the region and more.