During their century in the District, the trees have dealt with subfreezing temperatures, heavy snow and high winds. A decade ago, 11 inches of snow fell on March 30, while in February 2010, branches as thick as 6 inches were split and some tree canopies were sheered off because of a snowstorm.
The 1 million visitors who come to the city to see the blooms are also resilient when it comes to the weather, and festival organizers have packed the nearly monthlong celebration with a variety of performances and parades inspired by the blossoms, as well as the Blossom Kite Festival on the Mall.
“The questions is, what do we do for an encore,” asked Japan-America Society President John Malott. “And the answer is, keep going. This celebrates many things: the arrival of spring, the beauty of the city and our connection to Japan.”
For sequestration watchers, Park Service Deputy Superintendent Stephen Lorenzetti said because the event falls so early after the federal spending deadline, “we don’t see any impact to the festival.”
The Park Service spends about $185,000 on the festival.
Mr. Lorenzetti did warn, however, that in an effort to keep open the major memorials and sites and avoid furloughs as much as possible, future events the Park Service sponsors — such as the July 4 celebration on the Mall — could take a hit.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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