Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival
If you live in the Washington, D.C. area, I'm sure you already know the Cherry Blossoms are in bloom. This is mainly noticeable because of the swarms of tourists that arrive with the blossoms, in addition to the increased police presence and traffic.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japanese Mayor Yukio Ozaki to the city of Washington. The gift signified a lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. On March 27, 1912 First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda (wife of the Japanese ambassador) planted the first two trees from Japan. In 1915, The United States government reciprocated the gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. A group of school children reenacted the initial planting in 1927, and the first festival followed in 1935.
Today, more then a million people visit D.C. to admire the cherry trees and to attend events celebrating the ushering in of spring.
This year I have the opportunity to support the festival, and honor the friendship between the U.S. and Japan, as Delaware's 2010 Cherry Blossom Princess. The Cherry Blossom Princess program began in 1948, when state societies began selecting qualified young women to share their state's culture, traditions, and history with national and international visitors to D.C. Cherry Blossom Princesses participate in educational, leadership, and cultural activities as they serve their nation and respective states. I am honored to represent my summer home away from home Delaware (more specifically, Rehobeth Beach) this coming week.
If you are in the Washington, D.C. area this coming week I encourage you to check out some of the festival events here. I plan to elaborate on the princess experience next Friday.
I hope to see you at the festival!