Ways To Enjoy DC Cherry Blossom Festival 2010
March 21, 2010 2 Comments
by Elias Shams
The best time of the year to be in DC is here again next week, the Washington Cherry Blossom time from March 27 till April 11.
First, here is a little bit of history for the non-Washingtonians or those of you not familiar with the Festival:
The plantings of cherry trees originated in 1912 as gift of friendship to the United States from the people of Japan. In Japan, the flowering cherry tree or “Sakura“, as it is called by the Japanese people, is one of the most exalted flowering plants. The beauty of the cherry blossom is a potent symbol equated with evanescence of human life and epitomizes the transformations Japanese Culture has undergone through the ages. The date when the Yoshino cherry blossoms reach peak bloom varies from year to year, depending on weather conditions.
For the past 98 years, people from all over the world have gathered in Washington, DC to welcome the arrival of spring and to share the special season with each other. The splendid cherry trees, the focal point of the Cherry Blossom Festival, are constant reminders of the strong and enduring friendship between the United States and Japan.
At a time when climate bills are struggling instead of flourishing on the Hill, I highly recommend to explore the festival in an environmentally conscious way this year. Especially when this town is making it so easy to lighten the carbon footprint.
According to the Washington Post, our town has plans to create even more bike lanes in the District (on top of the new 40 miles of paths), conjuring up visions of an urban utopia where the center of Pennsylvania Ave. is reserved only for cyclists and the President’s inauguration. Metrobuses are running on clean-burning natural gas, and the list of U.S. firsts is an impressive one: Washington D.C. has the first LEED-certified ballpark, the first certified organic restaurant, and is the first city to implement a fully automatic bike-sharing program.
As Earth Day’s 40th anniversary approaches, the National Blossom Festival has picked a good moment to supplant a pretty cause with a truly ecological one. From adrenaline-pumping activities to sustainable eats, here is a posy of green ways to celebrate the annual spring event.
1. Take the bus: According to the iPhone CO2 Tracker application, if you drive approximately 200 miles from NYC to D.C. in a medium-sized automobile, you will use 61 kg of CO2. Taking the bus uses 16 kg of CO2. And in an era when intercity express bus companies like Megabus and BoltBus are offering Wi-fi, sizeable leather seats, movies, and $1 tickets, one could add stress-free to the pro-green travel argument.
2. Move your Butt and Bike: For the entire 16-day festival, Bike and Roll is offering blossom bike routes for guests to see the full floral monty. Choose to ride ($32 per adult and $22 per child) the two-hour tour either during the week at 3:00 p.m. or on the weekend at 9:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.
3. In the greenlight: At the 18th annual Environmental Film Festival in Washington D.C. from March 16 to March 28, each of the 155 sustainably-produced films is as powerful and enlightening as the next. The majority of the flicks are offering free admission across the 56 venues: Charles Darwin and The Tree of Life is being screened at the National Museum of Natural History; Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai is going to shed light on the Green Belt Movement of Kenya at the National Museum of African Art; and Division Street will explore what lies way off the beaten path in the lower 48 states when it is shown at the National Academy of Sciences.
4. Drink Greenly: At the end of the day, Earth Day is about celebrating the planet, so it’s only fitting that people join together to toast to her good health. The Earth Day Network’s first “Green Hour” launched this week at The Vrandenburg Café in The Phillips Collection Museum, where organic food and drinks will continue to be offered next Thursday, March 25 as well April 8, 15, and 22, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. $1 will be donated to Earth Day Network for every libation purchased.
5. Well, this one is not really green, but If you want to add a little bit of fire to your festival, you may try cherry blossom fireworks cruise on the Potomac which departs from the southwest waterfront Gangplank Marina for magnificent views of cherry blossom festival fireworks
Watching the fireworks from the Potomac River is a truly unforgettable and magical experience. Imagine the illuminated Washington monuments along with sweeping views of the Washington skyline at a distance as you enjoy wine. The experience is only heightened by the presence of cherry blossoms in bloom throughout the waterfront along the Potomac River.
The boat will depart from the Gangplank Marina on the Southwest Waterfront while the sun starts to set. As the Washington nightlife comes to life at a distance, you can socialize, make new friends, and enjoy the views before returning back to the dock at the conclusion of our 2 hour cruise.
You will enjoy spectacular views of the monuments south of the 14th Street Bridge. We expect this cruise to be very popular with our members. Please reserve your tickets early before we sell out.
Date: Saturday, April 03, 2010
Time & Agenda:
- 6:15 PM Check-in starts at the gazebo near the main entrance to the Gangplank Marina at the Southwest Waterfront
- 6:30 PM We will leave the gazebo to board the boat
Gazebo near the waterfront at the intersection of 6th Street and Water Street SW.
If you follow 6th Street south to the waterfront, it will curve to intersect Maine Ave and M Street SW, and open to a parking lot that is the main enterance to the Gangplank Marina. The Channel Inn will be located to your right. Continue walking from here towards the water and there will be a covered gazebo
Obviously, this one is not free. You can register and purchase ticket here