By Hannah Stryker

With kites, blooming flowers and food trucks galore, it seemed as if the entirety of the DMV gathered in Washington D.C. on Saturday, March 30, to enjoy the activity-filled weekend. The Cherry Blossom Festival and Blossom Kite Festival happened to overlap, flooding the National Mall with excitement.

The Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to Washington, D.C. In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki wanted to celebrate the relationship between the citizens of the U.S. and Japan by sending a present that would be enjoyed for years to come. This year, the festival is being held between Wednesday, March 20 and Sunday, April 14.

“It was beautiful to see people from all over the world in one spot to see the blossoms,” University of Maryland freshman public health science major Preethi Chandran said. “Although it was amazing, maybe avoid going during the weekend because it was extremely crowded.”

The Blossom Kite Festival is a specific event that is part of the Cherry Blossom Festival. At 10 a.m. there was a parade to begin the event, and there were a multitude of tents set up where children could make their own kites and could potentially win awards during the “Blossom Build-Off Competition.” After being judged, the grand prize winner of the overall festival received a free Samsung Galaxy S10+ phone.

The cherry blossom trees not only provide a great landscape view, but also allow people to come together to create memories. Many different clubs and organizations from nearby schools, including UMD, took field trips to the festival to enjoy the beautiful spring day.

“My Honors Living Learning Program has a mandatory class, HHUM106, and we are currently learning about migration. We visited the Smithsonian American Art Museum to see the exhibit “Vietnam: Past is Prologue,” and afterwards we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival,” freshman communication and government and politics major Malaika Mosele said. “The festival was super fun and everyone was taking cute pictures in front of the trees.”

Be sure to check out the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival before it ends on April 14! Other events to come include the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday, April 13.

Featured Photo Credit: Hannah Stryker/Bloc Reporter.

Hannah Stryker is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at hannahstryker70@gmail.com.

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