Historical Landmark of the Month (March-April): Cherry Blossom Festival (Part II)

In case you are coming to town this weekend, here's a couple of events that are happening.

There are four big events this weekend, and three are associated with the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Speaking of cherry blossoms, you can click here to see the real-time Cherry Blossom web-cam.

First: the Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler will go off early Sunday morning. This is a spectacular run under and around the cherry trees at their peak. And yes, I am running, along with about 12,000 other people. Stay tuned for results.

Second: the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade will occur this Saturday along Constitution Avenue, from 7th to 17th streets. I've never been before, so I don't really know what to expect.

Third: Just after the parade ends, the Japanese Street Festival, known as the "Sakura Matsuri" will begin. First held in 1961, the Sakura Matsuri is now the largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture in the United States.

In case you want some more information, here are some details:

Stretching for nearly one mile through the streets of downtown Washington DC, from near the White House to FBI headquarters, the Sakura Matsuri is held each spring as the climax of the two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival. On good weather days, it has drawn over 140,000 visitors in 7 hours. There's a little bit of everything. as the website claims, "From sushi to origami, from sumo to sake. Japanese arts and crafts and products of all kinds - anime, manga and J-POP music. Traditional dances and dramatic taiko drums."

The Sakura Matsuri is divided into six main areas:
Taste of Japan - with restaurants selling Japanese food
The Ginza Marketplace - selling traditional Japanese products
J-POP Land - celebrating modern, youthful
Japan Performing Arts - featuring traditional Japanese music and dance
Japanese Martial Arts- Japanese Arts and Culture Exhibitions

Fourth: the annual Charging of the Fountains and Blessing of the Fleet at the Navy Memorial. Since this is such a different event from the precious three, I'll cover this in a separate post. (Finally--some history!)

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