March 4, 2013

Peak Cherry Blossom Bloom at end of March

WASHINGTON — The peak blooming period for the cherry blossom trees in Washington, D.C., is predicted to be between March 26-30, 2013, according to James Perry, chief of Resource Management at the National Park Service.

"For the 12th year in a row, the cherry blossoms will reach their peak bloom in the midst of the Cherry Blossom Festival," Perry said Monday at a press conference at the Newseum. The 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival will be celebrated March 20 to April 14.

Perry explained that at the beginning of the blooming period, about 20 percent of the blossoms are out. The peak bloom occurs a few days later, when 70 percent of the cherry blossoms are out.

The announcement included a performance by members of Washington, D.C.'s Ballou High School marching band, which performed for the president during the 2013 inauguration parade and will also entertain at the Cherry Blossom Festival parade on April 13. This year for the first time, the parade will be broadcast live. WUSA-9 will broadcast the event.

Each year, the festival celebrates the friendship between the United States and Japan. Steve Lorenzetti, a deputy superintendent with National Park Service, emphasized the importance of the Park Service's cherry blossom preservation efforts. Some of the original trees, a gift from Japan to the United States in 1912, are still part of the festival, Lorenzetti said.

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