Following mid-March’s bitter cold snap which killed about half of Washington DC’s cherry blossoms, the US capital’s National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated the survivors’ peak bloom.
The festival which lasts until April 16, saw thousands of nature lovers descend on DC’s Tidal Basin to see the famous flowers beginning on Saturday.
Attendee Kadia Pandu told WJLA: ‘It brings you that Spring feeling like newness and freshness.’
The National Cherry Blossom Festival began in Washington DC on Saturday and will last until April 16
Thousands of people, including the pair pictured taking a selfie with the Washington Monument in the background, came to the US capital’s Tidal Basin to observe the flowers
While about half the blossoms died a couple weeks ago following abruptly cold weather, the survivors were in peak bloom this weekend
A woman looks for the perfect shot of the blossoms. Festival goers could enjoy the warm weather in DC on Saturday – 78 degrees Fahrenheit
The weather in Washington reached a balmy 78 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday, while the long-term forecast suggests no snowstorms such as Winter Storm Stella.
That bitter cold snap, which affected much of the Northeast on March 14, killed many of Washington’s cherry blossoms.
The National Parks Service had said that this past weekend would be when the survivors would peak.
Freezing temperatures that had abruptly followed unseasonably warm weather had the nation’s capital fearful for its more than 3,000 prized Japanese cherry trees, a major tourist draw.
One attendee said the festival ‘brings you that Spring feeling like newness and freshness’
Some of the cherry blossoms bloomed prematurely following unseasonably warm weather in February and early March, only to die following Winter Storm Stella which hit much of the Northeast on March 14
People walk some of the nation’s capital’s more-than 3,000 cherry trees on March 26
People stroll among the trees, which were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912
The mercury dip to about 23 degrees Fahrenheit ‘killed virtually all of the blossoms that had reached “puffy white”‘ – the late stages of the bloom cycle – NPS spokesman Mike Litterst said in a statement.
Litterst said the other half of the cherry blossoms were at earlier stages in the bloom process, and just five percent of those appeared to be damaged.
Peak bloom – the time when 70 percent of the Yoshino trees are in full flower – around Washington’s Tidal Basin was particularly difficult to predict this year because the death of so many blossoms distorted NPS models.
The trees, pictured out of focus in front of the Jefferson Memorial, were given as a symbol of US-Japanese friendship
The Washington Monument is pictured behind a sea of pink and white on March 26
Two people enjoy a spot of paddle-boating on Washington DC’s Tidal Basin, around which the cherry blossoms are planted. In the background is the Jefferson Memorial
The NPS had formerly expected peak bloom to fall between March 19 and March 22, so it appears the peak occurred just a little bit later..
Hundreds of thousands of people come to the US capital to see the clouds of pink flowers each year. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a top tourist draw, bringing in tens of millions of dollars.
The festival commemorates the 1912 gift of roughly 3,000 cherry trees to Washington by the mayor of Tokyo, as a symbol of US-Japanese friendship.
Ice-covered cherry blossoms are seen near the Potomac River on March 14, 2017 in Washington DC
People skirt the edge of a puddle as they walk around the Tidal Basin under the cherry trees on March 18
The National Park Service had been expecting peak bloom to fall between March 19 and March 22