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National Cherry Blossom Festival introduces scavenger hunt throughout the DMV

Yes, there are prizes involved. Here's how you can participate.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — The National Cherry Blossom Festival's "Art in Bloom" visual art exhibition comes with a digital twist this year. 

Twenty-six oversized cherry blossom statues, painted by local artists, have been placed throughout the DMV. Their locations span all eight wards of the District, as well as Maryland's National Harbor and Virginia's Aurora Highlands and National Landing neighborhoods. 

RELATED: Cherry blossoms are starting to bloom! Stage two has been reached

Starting Saturday, March 20, visitors are invited to embark on a "Blossom Hunt" to find the sculptures and enter to win a prize. Participants must post a photo of the sculpture on Instagram or Twitter, tag the National Cherry Blossom Festival (@CherryBlossFest) and put #artinbloom in the caption, the Festival said.

The Festival will randomly choose winners of prizes each week. The more you post, the more likely you are to win a prize. 

The Blossom Hunt will end on May 31, more than a month after the Cherry Blossom Festival, which is scheduled for March 20 to April 11. 

The event is part of the Festival's coronavirus-friendly hybrid plan. The program includes a one-hour nationally syndicated television show; the Art in Bloom art exhibition; and locally curated community experiences that focus on music, cuisine and visual arts presentations.

While the sculptures may be in full bloom, the real blossoms are only in stage two of the blooming process. That means the florets are visible. The blossoms reached that phase on March 16th. 

Every year, the National Park Service tracks the six stages, ending with peak bloom.

  • Stage 1: Green buds
  • Stage 2: Florets visible
  • Stage 3: An extension of florets
  • Stage 4: Peduncle elongation (the stalk bearing a flower or fruit)
  • Stage 5: Fluffy white and peak bloom. 

The National Park Service is forecasting peak bloom between April 2 and April 5. It usually lasts for several days.