March 2, 2012 by David K. Sutton
NPS Expects Early Bloom For National Cherry Blossom Festival In D.C.
Here’s a story to distract, albeit briefly, from the right-wing nonsense. The National Park Service is predicting an early peak bloom for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C., which will mark the 100th anniversary of the donation of 3000 trees by Yukio Ozaki, the mayor of Tokyo, on March 27, 1912. Right now the peak bloom is predicted to happen between March 24-31.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20th to April 27th.
Today, the Festival and DC leadership gathered to announce plans for the Centennial Celebration. Paying tribute to the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees, an unprecedented spectacular begins March 20, the first day of spring. The City in Bloom unites the region through April 27.
Another event in D.C. during this time that may interest some readers is the Reason Rally on March 24th, just in time for the start of the peak bloom this year.
The Reason Rally is a movement-wide event sponsored by the country’s major secular organizations. The intent is to unify, energize, and embolden secular people nationwide, while dispelling the negative opinions held by so much of American society… and having a damn good time doing it! It will be the largest secular event in world history. There will be music, comedy, great speakers, and lots of fun… and it’s free!
More on the history of the cherry blossoms in our nation’s capital.
In a ceremony on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of these trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. At the end of the ceremony, the First Lady presented Viscountess Chinda with a bouquet of ‘American Beauty’ roses. These two trees still stand at the terminus of 17th Street Southwest, marked by a large plaque. By 1915, the United States government had responded with a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan.