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D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival Parade 2018: What to know before you go

From how to get there to a map of road closures

Photo via Lissandra Melo/Shutterstock

Ahh, spring time. The pink cherry blossoms, the welcomed warm weather, and, of course, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. This year, the annual event will be on April 14, stemming from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

For those who are in search of the best views of the parade, be sure to spend $20 for the Grandstand Seating. Sure, you can always watch the parade for free by the sidelines, but the best views will really only be for those who pay for them or who arrive as early as possible.

What is the parade route?

The 10-block parade will be located on Constitution Avenue NW from 7th to 17th streets NW.

What are the road closures?

Road closures will began at 7 p.m. on April 13 and continue through 3 p.m. on Emancipation Day. Expect road closures in Downtown and near the National Mall. For a more detailed look at what to expect from each closure, see the map below.

To see this map up close, click here.
Photo via National Cherry Blossom Festival

Who will be performing?

There are so many people to anticipate—as well as helium appearances from Smurfette, Peppa Pig, and more.

According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade website, this year’s celebrity performances and appearances will include:

For a full list of what the line of march will include, head to the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade website.

Photo via B Christopher/Shutterstock

How do I get there?

Thankfully, there are more options than just one to head to the parade. First, if driving, definitely come early in the morning and reserve a space in a parking garage in advance by using resources like Parking Panda or Spothero.

For those of us who know better than to drive anywhere near the parade, be sure to use the Metrorail. The closest Metro stations include the National Archives Metro, the Federal Triangle Metro, the Metro Center Metro, the L’Enfant Plaza Metro, and the Smithsonian Metro.

If interested in using the D.C. Circulator, the closest stops are along Madison Drive NW. Rides cost $1 with arrival times expected every 10 minutes. Head to the D.C. Circulator’s official website for real-time service updates.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use Capital Bikeshare or any other dockless bike-sharing or scooter-sharing option in the city.

Wait a second—what about Sakura Matsuri?

What about Sakura Matsuri? Just kidding. This event is just as much a must-see as the parade, itself. This rain-or-shine event on April 14 runs from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Here, expect live performances from both J-Pop and J-Rock bands as well as drumming ensembles and more. Most importantly, there will be food—and lots of it. Expect over 25 restaurants and food vendors, each offering tastes of Japanese cuisine.

Tickets cost $10 for those at or above the age of 13. Those who are 12 or under are offered free admission.