Saturday, April 3, 2010

Exciting events for families during 2010 National Cherry Blossom Festival

LOCATION: Japanese
DATE: Friday, April 2, 2010
BY: Amy Orndorff
DETAILS: Cherry blossoms, with their soft white and pink colors bursting in unison, are at their peak bloom now. So while the National Cherry Blossom Festival began last week, there is no better time to enjoy the blooms than this weekend -- before they float away for another year. We have picked a handful of can't-miss events; for the complete schedule, visit or call 877-442-5666.
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-- Amy Orndorff


IKEBANA INTERNATIONAL Through April 25. The exhibit features a rotating display of flowers arranged using Japanese techniques. U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Ave. NE. 202-245-2726. Free.

THE BLOSSOM SECRETS STROLL Friday 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday and Sunday 2 to 4 p.m. and Monday 10 a.m. to noon, through April 11. The history of the iconic trees and how they ended up along the Tidal Basin is detailed during this guided walk. Meet at the Independence Avenue exit of the Smithsonian Metro station, 1200 Independence Ave. SW. $15.

BLOSSOMS BY BIKE Friday at 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m., noon and 3 p.m.; Monday-Thursday at 3 p.m.; through April 11. Spend two hours biking by the blossoms, the Japanese Lantern, the Jefferson Memorial and Hains Point. Bike and Roll Kiosk, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. $32, $22 age 12 and younger.

CHERRY BLAST: A NIGHT OF CONTEMPORARY ART + MUSIC Friday 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. The hippest 21-and-older, blossom-themed event from last year is back with an even more robust lineup. The night includes Fatback DJs, classical musician Matt Hemerlein improvising with DJ Chris Nitti, videos by Amelia Winger-Bearskin, art exhibits and a display of the winning entries from the Festival's Blossom! Design Challenge. 1701 Florida Ave. NW. $10.


TWELFTH ANNUAL CHERRY BLOSSOM FREEDOM WALK Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. Learn about Japanese American experiences during World War II including life in camps and military service. The non-competitive walk honors their experiences. National Japanese American Memorial, D Street and New Jersey Avenue NW. Free, donations accepted.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE FAMILY FUN ZONE Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through April 11. Kids of all ages can get in on the cherry blossom action through ranger talks and art projects. Thomas Jefferson Memorial, 900 Ohio Dr. SW. Free.

ANIME MARATHON FILM FESTIVAL Saturday at 11 a.m. Take a break from the masses at the basin and head indoors for a day of anime fun. There will be a cosplay contest and three films including "Chocolate Underground," a movie about kids who start making bootleg chocolate when a political party bans the candy. Freer Gallery of Art, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. 202-633-1000. Free.

SILVER SPRING'S BIG CHERRY BLOCK PARTY Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Who says you need to be in Washington to enjoy the blossoms? Head to Silver Spring for the party, which includes a cherry tree planting, Japanese music, anime, games for adults and kids, calligraphy and origami. Downtown Silver Spring, on and around Ellsworth Drive, Free.

ARTS FOR FAMILIES: FUN WITH FANS Saturday 2 to 4 p.m. Kids ages 4 to 12 can learn about fashion designer Issey Miyake, visit the "Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Mary Baskett Collection" exhibit and decorate a Japanese fan to take home. Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. 202-667-0441. Free.

SOUTHWEST WATERFRONT MUSICAL PRELUDE AND FIREWORKS Saturday at 5 p.m. The festivities end with a bang -- literally! Military and local musical groups perform from 5 to 8:30 p.m., then fireworks will fill the night sky. For the best view of the fireworks, head to East Potomac Park or Southwest Waterfront promenade. The concert will be at Waterfront Park, 600 Water St. SW. Free.


LANTERN LIGHTING CEREMONY Sunday 2:30 to 4 p.m. A 359-year-old stone lantern is lit in a ceremony that includes Japanese performers, dignitaries and Cherry Blossom Princesses. Tidal Basin, Independence Avenue and 17th Street SW. Free.


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