A signature springtime event kicked off in the DC Metro area on Monday.
With the blooming of the pink and white cherry blossoms, thousands of people gathered to officially welcome in the spring season.
“People are just… they look forward to it all year round. It’s a sense of spring, renewal and just a happy place to be,” Diana Mayhew, President of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival said.
The National Park Service confirmed that the blossoms reached peak bloom on Monday, which is two days sooner than expected.
“We moved the peak bloom prediction up about two days from April 3-6 to April 1 and the reason for that is we make the prediction about 5-6 weeks ahead of time,” Michael Litterst, spokesperson for the National Park Service said.
Though there are over a dozen species of cherry trees in the region. Experts determine peak bloom by looking at the Yoshino cherry trees. The peak bloom is defined as the period when 70% of the Yoshino variety of cherry trees have reached full blossom.
As they have reached their final stage they’re only expected to be around for the next seven to 10 days.
Related Content: Peak bloom for cherry blossoms is next week
“Much as the warm weather speeds up through and gets the blossoms out what we’re hoping for now is that temps cool off and keep the blossoms in place so we don’t go to the leafy stage,” Litterst said.
The cherry blossom celebrations will continue until April 14.
“Lots of new programs and activities within our traditional event. Saturday, April 13, will be the parade with the grand marshall Anthony Anderson it’s the first time he’s participating,” Mayhew said.
The annual cherry blossom festival is expected to bring in about 1.5 million people to the area.
Below is a list for Northern Virginia residents who wish to enjoy the view without the crowds:
- Green Spring Garden in Alexandria
- River Farm in Alexandria
- Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna
- Alexander Bell Drive in Reston
- Van Gogh Bridge at Lake Anne in Reston
- Snow Meadow Lane in McLean