National Cherry Blossom Festival coming to Washington

December 15, 2012 by  

Commemorating the 1912 gift from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC, the National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place every year honoring the lasting friendship between the USA and Japan. The 2013 event has been scheduled for March 20-April 14.

The first gift which consisted of 2,000 cherry blossom trees arrived in Washington in 1910, but they were diseased. Another 3,000 trees were sent to Washington in 1912. The first trees from Japan were planted by First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda who at the time was the Japanese ambassador’s wife. They were planted on the Tidal Basino in West Potomac Park’s north bank.

Gifts have continued to be exchanged between Japan and the USA. In 1915, the USA sent a gift of dogwood trees to Japan. Then in 1981, cherry trees in Japan were destroyed in a major flood so the USA gave Japanese horticulturists tree cuttings to replace the cherry blossom trees.

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival held in Washington, DC every year brings over a million and a half people to the city to admire the beautiful trees and participate in the many activities centered on the trees. One of the main attractions is the Cherry Blossom Parade with floats, entertainment and lots of excitement throughout the event.

Parades depend on printing companies to produce many of their materials used for the event. Banner printing is a main staple for parade participants as most floats contain a banner. The event organizers also hang banners throughout the venue to attract attention and point people in the right direction.