Cherry Blossom Festival Ends in Perfect Style (photos)
What is billed as the "Nation's Greatest Springtime Celebration" ended in perfect style on Sunday. April 13, under sunny skies and 85-degree temperatures. Due to an extended winter chill, the Yoshino cherry trees gracing the Washington's Tidal Basin didn't hit peak bloom until April 10, a delayed start not been seen since 1993. According to the National Park Service, the peak bloom date is defined as the day when 70 percent of the Yashino Blossoms are open. Japan presented the U.S. with more than 3,000 of the trees in 1912 to celebrate the relationship between the two nations. D.C.'s first cherry blossom festival was in 1927. The Yoshino cherry tree -- Prunus x yedoensis -- is widely considered one of the most beautiful flowering ornamental trees. The Yoshino tends to have a relatively short life span of 15 to 20 years, but thanks to their care under the National Park Service, almost 100 of the original trees still survive from more than 100 years ago.
View our photos of the Cherry Blossom Festival, including Family Days activities at the National Building Museum, fireworks at the Southwest Waterfront, the Blessing of the Fleets at the U.S. Navy Memorial and the Cherry Blossom Parade, all by clicking on the photo icons below. (All photos by Jeff Malet)