Adventures, Cherry Blossom Festival, Downtown, Special Events, The Features

Celebrating 100 Years of Blossoms

Photo courtesy of katieharbath
Cherry Blossoms
courtesy of katieharbath
It’s cherry blossom time! This year is the Centennial anniversary of Japan’s gifting of the cherry trees to the U.S. and the National Cherry Blossom Festival has planned a whopping five weeks of events to celebrate. While the festival officially kicks off this coming Sunday, some events are already unfolding this week – not to mention we’re smack in the middle of the peak bloom time of the trees.

We’ll provide you a weekly listing of events here on WeLoveDC so you can keep up with all the fantastic offerings. There’s so much going on for the Centennial that we can promise there’s something for everyone! (And don’t forget to drop your photos into our Flickr pool!)

Tonight is the sold-out 2012 Pink Tie Party at the Mayflower Renaissance. Chefs José Andrés and Roy Yamaguchi, innovators in the culinary community, will host the evening, exemplifying the international collaboration and creativity at the heart of the Festival. The sixth annual fundraiser and kick-off to the Centennial Celebration and the “season of the blossoms” will feature area chefs’ spring-, cherry- and blossom-inspired cuisine and cocktails. An auction contributes to the Festival’s fundraising efforts offering everything from weekend getaways and yacht charters to concert, sporting, dining, and theater experiences and blossom- and Japanese-themed jewelry and apparel. Continue reading

The Daily Feed

Food Truck Gathering at SW Waterfront this Saturday

Photo courtesy of
‘CH Day 2010 Food Trucks’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

We haven’t had great weather for strolls amongst the cherry blossoms this week, but maybe we’ll get lucky Saturday and you can go grab some good ‘ole food truck fodder at the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival.

The festival, a part of the larger National Cherry Blossom Festival, will host nine food trucks from 1 PM until approximately 8:30 PM, when the fireworks start. The trucks that will be serving include Red Hook Lobster, Curbside Cupcakes, Fojol Bros., District Taco, Tasty Kabob, Eat Wonky, DC Slices, CapMac and Sidewalk Sweetsations.

The festival is free and completely open to the public. Plus there will be live music and loads of “family friendly” activities running from 6th to 9th street. So cross your fingers for some sunshine, grab a wonky dog or kabob and enjoy the fireworks this Saturday.

Food and Drink, The Daily Feed

FREE FOOD ALERT: Cherry Picks at Capital One Bank Branches

Photo courtesy of
‘cherry blossoms + Washington Monument’
courtesy of ‘martha_jean’

Unless you’ve got tons of free time and an expansive stomach and wallet, there’s just no way to take advantage of every cherry blossom-inspired dish at restaurants around town. So instead, you can sample some of the “Cherry Picks” this week and next at various Capital One Bank locations.

From 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM on designated dates, different restaurants will give out complimentary morsels. If you happen to be a Capital One Bank customer, then you get the added bonus of getting a free coffee or dessert when you dine at and pay with your Capital One debit or credit card at participating restaurants.

Below is the schedule for the free Cherry Picks:

Tuesday, March 29; 11:30am – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 1100 17th Street, NW
Featuring Litestars
Wednesday, March 30; 11:30am – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 336 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Featuring Zest Bistro

Wednesday, March 30; 11:30am – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 1800 M Street, NW
Featuring Mie N Yu

Thursday, March 31; 11:30 – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 2400 M Street, NW 
Featuring RIS 

Tuesday, April 5; 11:30am – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 901 New York Ave, NW
Featuring Againn
Wednesday, April 6; 11:30am – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 1850 K Street, NW
Featuring Cities Restaurant & Lounge

Thursday, April 7; 11:30am – 1:30pm
Capital One Branch: 1200 F Street, NW
Featuring McCormick and Schmick’s

Downtown, Entertainment, Essential DC, Interviews, People, Special Events, The Features, They Make DC

As Blossoms Arrive, a Moment with Diana Mayhew


The National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off tomorrow, commemorating Japan’s gift of 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees to the city 99 years ago. The Festival is a grand two-week affair that draws over a million people annually, with a diverse range of events all across the District.

Key to the success of this yearly event for the last decade has been NCBF President Diana Mayhew, who took over the helm in 2000 as Executive Director and then in 2007 as President. When she arrived, the Festival was an all-volunteer organization (begun in 1927) and its vision was to ensure that there was year-round, consistent staffing to ensure the growth, quality, and consistency of events. “We also help show the world that Washington, DC is synonymous with spring,” Mayhew told me. “There was a need to provide consistent services to residents and visitors interested in attending Festival events and there was no central communication.” The Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) donated the salary of an Executive Director for three years until the Festival got up on its feet, implementing fundraising and sponsorships to support itself and the cost of programming, which is offered free to the public.

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The Daily Feed

Roundup: Cherry Blossom Restaurant Specials

Photo courtesy of
’10-4-4 – Cherry Blossoms – Warm Blossoms’
courtesy of ‘mosley.brian’

Ah the cherry blossoms–the time when you finally know it’s spring in Washington. While the Mall will be packed, I’m betting restaurant patios will also start to fill up. So while you’re starting to enjoy some outdoor dining during the cherry blossom season, here are some restaurants offering specials: Continue reading

The Daily Feed

And the Cherry Blossoms Cometh…


Hard to believe it, but the National Cherry Blossom Festival is right around the corner! The official festival celebration is from March 26 through April 10 this year.

Just announced this morning by National Park Service Chief Horticulturist Rob DeFeo, the optimal bloom time for the blossoms will be March 29 – April 3, right in the middle of the Festival. The average peak bloom date is April 4 with varying lengths; last year was a short window due to the heavy snows that blanketed the area in February protracted heat wave in March 2010.

This year’s Festival boasts nearly 400 free events and performances surrounding traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit; in celebration of the 99th anniversary of the gift of cherry blossom trees. The Blossom Kite Festival, always a great event held on the National Mall, has moved to the first Saturday of the festival, March 27.

For the first time in 15 years, the popular Sakura Matsuri Japanese culture street festival on April 9 will charge an admission fee of $5.

The Daily Feed, We Green DC

Think Spring – and Planting Cherry Trees

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

Ever wanted to do more than just wander among the cherry trees during the National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF)? A new partnership between the NCBF and Casey Trees will now let you do just that.

Community groups who are interested in adding ten or more trees to public property in their neighborhood – property which includes DCPS and Charter schools and universities, parks, libraries, places of worship – can apply to the new Neighborhood Tree Planting Program for all eight wards of the District.

Groups can register by visiting the Casey Trees website and should make sure to list their intention to plant between three and ten cherry trees. Eligible sites should have the capacity to plant and maintain a minimum of ten trees; only three need to be cherry trees as part of the program.

The application deadline is November 30, with plantings occurring in the spring of 2011.

The Daily Feed

The Blossoms Are Coming! The Blossoms Are Coming!

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Ghost_Bear’

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this winter to be over. The best signpost of spring around here is the blooming of the cherry trees, and National Park Service Chief Horticulturist Rob DeFeo has finally announced their best estimate as to when we’ll be seeing these beautiful blooms. According to the NPS press conference this morning at the Newseum, we’re looking at an expected “arrival” of April 3-8 for peak coverage. The average peak bloom date is April 4 and is considered the day when 70% of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry trees are open. The peak bloom every year varies due to weather and can be as early as March 15 or as late as April 18.

The blooming period usually starts several days before the peak bloom date and can last as long as two weeks, though frost, wind, and high temps can fluctuate that window. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival is usually timed around the average peak bloom date; this year’s festival will be from March 27 – April 11. There’s still time to volunteer for the festival, so if you’re interested then vist the official NCBF website and sign up today.

The Daily Feed

Bored? Volunteer at the Cherry Blossom Festival


Volunteers are being sought for the 2010 National Cherry Blossom Fesitval. Individuals, local business community service programs, and community service groups are encouraged to participate. Those who volunteer their time will assist in all aspects of the Festival, which runs from Saturday, March 27 through Sunday, April 11.

To see what specific opportunities are available, you can download an application from the Festival website or call 202.661.7595.

The Daily Feed

NCBF Shows Off Official Festival Artwork

2010 Official Art

The National Cherry Blossom Festival has announced that the 2010 Festival Artwork has been selected. The piece (seen above) was created by Junko Yamada of Jackson Heights, NY.

The artwork will be seen on official merchandise when the National Cherry Blossom Festival arrives on March 27 and concludes on April 11. Grandstand ticket seating for the parade is already on sale for those who can’t wait. Also of note is a new collectible holiday ornament, hand-painted by artist Otella Brantmier.

Just a little touch of spring for those of you already chilled by winter.

Entertainment, Essential DC, Fun & Games, Life in the Capital, Music, Special Events, The District, We Love Arts, WMATA

We Love Arts: Cherry Blast

I think we can all agree that one of the reasons “we love DC” is the arrival of spring each year when our city is transformed from a bleak, gray land of zombies into a cheery land of fresh-faced partiers.  The harsh winter weather is behind us, the cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom, girls swap their jeans for skirts, and it’s time to start planning how you’ll enjoy every waking minute before the sweltering heat invades our city.

What better way to celebrate the disappearance of winter than checking out the National Cherry Blossom Festival?  While it officially started on March 28th, it runs until April 12th and is packed full of fun things to do, ranging from blossom tours to photo safaris to wicked awesome Japanese-themed art fashion anime parties.  Say what?  That’s right, on Friday the Pink Line Project kicks into gear again to throw a party that is sure to be the highlight of this year’s festival.  Enter stage left: Cherry Blast.

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Featured Photo

Featured Photo

Meet Madame Lardofly by LaTur

Every year around this time, camera shutters from around the world open and close, capturing thousands and thousands of photos of our beloved cherry blossoms.  You see shots of the blossoms singled out against the brilliant blue sky, shots that show dense clusters of pink, blossomy goodness, shots of the hords of tourists that make their annual pilgrimage to the Tidal Basin, and even shots of clowns scaring the tourists away.  But how often do you see a pig with a mohawk, dressed in a pink cherry blossom dress and wearing pink tinted goggles?  For me the answer is simply, “Never.”

Fellow Flickrite, LaTur captured this unique photo of Madame Lardofly over the weekend, winning my pick as best National Cherry Blossom Festival photo.  I’ve lived in DC for about five years now, and while many area photographers never seem to get tired of taking cherry blossom photos, it has lost its luster with me.  That’s why it takes an unusual shot like this one to get my attention, even if I do end up feeling sorry for the pig.  I guess life could be worse.  After all, she could be sitting next to some eggs and home fries at the Florida Avenue Grill.

Essential DC, Monumental, The Features, The Great Outdoors

Monumental: Cherry Blossoms


On March 26, 1912, probably the most famous ‘monument’ in the Washington DC area arrived from Japan: 3,020 cherry trees.

Year after year, these trees bloom in a beautiful display that gives us a sure-fire sign that spring is upon us. It’s also the time of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival and probably brings the biggest influx of tourists for the year.

And, by far, the blooms give the city a photogenic quality that never gets old.

Continue reading

Downtown, Essential DC, Special Events, The Daily Feed

Cherry Blossoms A-Coming!


They’re coming! According to the just-held National Cherry Blossom Festival press conference this morning, the expected ‘bloom date’ is going to be…

April 3 through April 9! Keep in mind this is when 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry  trees that surround the Tidal Basin are open.

Admit it, you all have been waiting for this. (Just like me.) And don’t forget that the actual Festival this year runs from March 28 through April 12, so remember to take lots of photos and drop them into our Flickr pool!