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Posted at 11:12 AM ET, 03/ 9/2006

Spring is Blossoming

By Anne Kenderdine

Spring is coming, and the city's most famous symbol of the season will be in the pink this month, National Park Service Chief Horticulturalist Robert DeFeo predicted this morning.

DeFeo estimates a blooming range of March 27 through April 1, with March 30 as the true peak of blossoms on the Yoshino cherry trees ringing the Tidal Basin. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to coincide with the blooms, but nature of course doesn't always cooperate. (The flowers have arrived as early as March 15 in 1990 and as late as April 18 in 1958.) Still, it would be hard for any season to compare to last year, which boasted the triple combination of sunny, warm weather and peak bloom days on the weekend of the biggest festival events: the parade and Sakura Matsuri Street Festival.

This year looks like an ideal scenario for visitors; the current prediction lines up with the first week of the festival, which starts March 25 and runs through April 9. And in theory, blossoms could last as long as 14 days, as long as there's no strong winds, rain or cold spells. At this point, you can expect the second weekend of the festival -- marked with fireworks and the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler -- to be the days everyone mobs the Tidal Basin.

-- Anne

By Anne Kenderdine  | March 9, 2006; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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