- The Washington Times - Monday, March 1, 2021

National Park Service officials announced Monday that the District’s cherry blossoms will reach their peak bloom between April 2 and 5, a sign of the annual arrival of spring. 

Peak bloom is the day when 70% of the Yoshino cherry blossoms are open, “creating gorgeous clouds of white and pink flowers floating around the Tidal Basin,” the National Mall National Park Service said. The day varies each year, depending on weather conditions, but is most likely to fall between the last week of March and the first week of April. 

This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place from March 20 to April 11, with virtual events to honor the arrival of spring during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Jeff Reinbold, National Park Service superintendent for the National Mall, said Monday that officials are encouraging people to stay home and to watch the cherry blossoms online through the park service’s BloomCam rather than crowd around the Tidal Basin, WTOP reported. 

D.C. police and the National Guard last year were deployed to limit the large gatherings of people visiting the Tidal Basin to enjoy the blooming cherry trees just as the COVID-19 pandemic took off.

The park service is deliberating whether to allow a restricted number of visitors to see the cherry blossoms in person depending on the day and time.

On March 20, the National Cherry Blossom Festival kicks off with a virtual opening ceremony featuring performers from the District and Japan.

Yoshino trees usually bloom for several days. Cool, calm weather can lengthen the time of the bloom while a rainy, windy day can abruptly stop the blossoms’ blooming. A late frost can prevent the trees from blooming altogether, according to NPS.

The earliest cherry blossoms to date hit their peak bloom was March 15, 1990. The latest peak bloom so far occurred on April 18, 1958. 

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