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CHERRY_4032_20121023

CHERRY_4032_20121023

Former American Idol Elliott Yarmin, who is a celebrity ambassador for the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival, performs at the festival's launch luncheon on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012 at Hamilton Live in Washington, D.C. Yarmin will return in April and will appear in the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Blossom buds are forming on the Japanese cherry trees along the Tidal Basin, and peak bloom is forecast for the last week of March. Above, goodwill ambassadors gather for a news conference on plans for this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival, a centennial celebration to begin March 20 and run five weeks. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Special to The Washington Times)

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D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray speaks during a news conference at the Newseum to discuss plans for this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Special to The Washington Times)

20120301-205656-pic-932410337.jpg

20120301-205656-pic-932410337.jpg

Blossom buds are forming on the Japanese cherry trees along the Tidal Basin, and peak bloom is forecast for the last week of March. Above, goodwill ambassadors gather for a news conference on plans for this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival, a centennial celebration to begin March 20 and run five weeks. (T.J. Kirkpatrick/Special to The Washington Times)