Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival 2018

The National Cherry Blossom Festival concludes with a bang on April 14.

Fireworks on the Southwest Waterfront
••• © U.S. Army, Alex McVeigh

The Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival is the closing ceremony for and one of the highlights of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year, the festivities boast a full day of family-friendly entertainment on the Southwest Waterfront as well as the Cherry Blossom Parade in downtown Washington, D.C.

At the Southwest Waterfront, celebrate spring with live music at two performance stages, food trucks, a beer and cider garden, family activities, a green screen photo experience, cornhole, glow-in-the-dark treats, and many more activities including the fireworks show to end the evening.

The fireworks display may be viewed from all locations within the event, but the best views are found in Waterfront Park closest to the Titanic Memorial or from East Potomac Park. Although it's just a small part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival is certainly a spectacle!

Date, Times, Locations, and Transportation

As with previous years, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival takes place on the same Saturday as the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. In 2018, the event falls on April 14 with entertainment starting around 2 p.m. and fireworks beginning around 8:30 p.m., but will be rescheduled to Sunday night at the same time in the event of inclement weather.

Located between 600 to 650 Water Street Southwest in Washington, D.C., with additional performances and activities located in Waterfront Park near the Titanic Memorial, you can access the festival from the intersection of Maine Avenue Southwest and M Street Southwest or along 4th Street Southwest toward Waterfront Park.

There is no public parking close to the event site. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation. The closest Metro stops are L’Enfant Plaza or Waterfront-SEU, and the closest parking lots are Central Parking on 4th Street, Ace Parking on L'Enfant Plaza, or Colonial Parking at Federal Center Plaza—all of which are within a mile of the grounds.

The Festival will provide bike parking near the Water Street Circle, and there are also Capital Bikeshare stations located at 6th Street Southwest and Water Street Southwest as well as 4th Street Southwest and M Street Southwest. For tips on getting to the other cherry blossom festival events, check out these Cherry Blossom Festival transportation resources.

Other Cherry Blossom Festival Events

When the cherry blossoms begin to bloom in the nation's capital around late March, fundraising events and special occasions are already in full swing.

On March 15, 2018, the festivities kick off with the Pink Tie Party Present by Ana, a fundraiser benefiting the festival that offers guests samplings of D.C. cuisine, an open bar, and live entertainment while mingling with over 800 local influencers and trendsetters. Festival Night at the Cherry Blossom Pub on March 20 is another fundraiser that invites guests to enjoy the elaborate decorations and specially-designed cocktails for an evening of mingling with Washington's most influential.

The official opening ceremony for the 2018 National Cherry Blossom, though happens on March 24, when world-renowned performers like the 6821 Quintet, T.M. Revolution, and Akiko Yano will perform traditional and contemporary pieces at the Warner Theatre.

Other events occur throughout the rest of March and half of April, and the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival close out the official celebrations on April 14. Be sure to stop by some of the Japanese heritage exhibits and festivals throughout the month if you're visiting Washington, D.C.