It's the most wonderful, most pink time of the year once again. With cherry blossom season on its way, that means the arrival of 1.5 million visitors visiting the nation's capital over the course of the next three weeks. While you prepare by either reserving parking or finding all-pink outfits to wear at the signature events, Curbed has put together a few details on what you need to know about this year's parade, from the time to the location to the performers.
This year, the parade will be Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This is one of Washington, D.C.'s largest spectator events, so be sure to show up a little early.
The parade will be located on Constitution Avenue NW and will stem from 7th to 17th streets NW. While you'll be able to find plenty of places to stand during the event, it's worth spending a few dollars on the gradstand seating, located between 15th and 17th streets NW on Constitution Avenue NW. Then you won't have to worry about standing on your tip toes to see over the crowd.
You should also bring some water to avoid long lines or overcharging. If interested in grabbing yourself a souvenir or two while you're at the parade, bring some extra cash along just in case you find any vendors who don't take plastic.
Along with a myriad of high school marching bands, this year's performers will include:
- Cast members from the award-winning hit music Jersey Boys
- Pop sensation Tiffany
- Chart topping artist and The Voice contestant Sisaundra Lewis
- R&B Grammy-nominated artist and DC native Raheem DeVaughn
- Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell
- Washington Redskins Cheerleaders
- Latin vocal group Viva Mas
- Winners of the third annual Sing Into Spring Competition and the Washington Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir
On the same day and time as the parade is the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival, the nation's largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture. From 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., this event features entertainers from all over the country and Japan, bringing live music, dance, and martial art performances.
For the culinary minded, there will be a pavilion giving cooking demonstrations, food seminars, and sake pairing discussions throughout the event. There will also be two beer gardens and over 25 restaurants and food vendors attending the event.
This year, the street festival will be located in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, on M Street SE and New Jersey Avenue SE. Admission costs $10, but is free for children ages 12 and under.
• The National Cherry Blossom Festival [Official Website]