The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is one of Washington, DC’s largest public events of the year, drawing about 100,000 spectators from around the world. The parade combines wonderful entertainment for the whole family including decorated floats, gigantic colorful helium balloons, marching bands, clowns, horses, antique cars, military and celebrity performances, 900 youth chorus members, 400 all-star dancers, the Ballou High School Marching Band, the Tamagawa University Taiko Drumming and Dance Troupe, and various cultural performing groups.
ABC-7/WJLA-TV anchors Alison Starling and Jonathan Elias will serve as parade hosts this year. ABC will air the parade locally in a delayed telecast from noon to 2:00 p.m. Radio personality and local favorite Loo Katz and Chilli Amar from WASH-FM host from a second performance area located near the Parade’s finish.
Date and Time: April 8, 2017, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The parade is held rain or shine. Arrive around 9:00 a.m. to stake out a spot along the parade route.
Along Constitution Avenue, NW beginning at 7th Street and ending at 17th Street. The parade passes many Washington, DC attractions - National Archives, the Department of Justice, Smithsonian Museums, the Washington Monument and the White House. See a map of the parade route
Transportation and Parking
This is one of the biggest events of the year and parking is extremely limited.
The best way to get to the parade is by Metro. The closest Metro stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian. For more information about getting to the festival, see Cherry Blossom Festival Transportation Guide
Seating and Tickets
The parade is free and open to the public. For $20-27 you may purchase a reserved grandstand seat.
The reserved seating section is along Constitution Avenue, between 15th and 17th Streets NW.
2017 Parade Participants
- 98 Degrees member and “Dancing with the Stars” winner Drew Lachey
- Grammy nominated country singer Jo Dee Messina
- DC-native DJ Kool of the 1996 chart topping single “Let Me Clear My Throat”
- Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields
- Brian Justin Crum, breakout star from the most recent season of “America’s Got Talent”
- Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
- Winners of the 2017 Sing Into Spring competition
- Gigantic helium balloons, including Mr. Potato Head, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and more
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week, city-wide event featuring more than 200 international cultural performances and over 90 other special events. See the schedule of the National Cherry Blossom events.