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National Cherry Blossom Festival unveils hybrid plan for 2021, peak bloom expected April 2-5

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to take place from March 20 to April 11 with a new format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WASHINGTON — A sure sign of spring is taking place in 2021 despite ongoing coronavirus concerns.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to take place from March 20 to April 11 with a new format that organizers say is meant to honor the tradition of the festival while prioritizing health and safety during the pandemic. 

Festival organizers and city officials released additional information about this year's event Monday afternoon, including the announcement that peak bloom is expected to take place April 2 through April 5.

"Designed to incorporate both virtual and personal experiences, the festival will present a series of entertaining hybrid events and community outreach programs that adhere to city and CDC guidelines put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," the festival's organizers said in a press release Wednesday.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival organizers announced last year that the 2021 parade was officially canceled.

Organizers say most of 2021 events will be free and open to the public, including a one-hour nationally syndicated television show; 20 large, vibrant cherry blossom sculptures displayed in dozens of locations throughout the city; and locally curated community experiences that focus on music, cuisine, and visual arts presentations.

The festival is working with the Washington, D.C. mayor’s office, the National Park Service, and other officials and partners, to plan a variety of safe, entertaining, and fun programming for the 2021 Festival that will unite communities, help support economic recovery, and embrace springtime in the District.

The 2021 official artwork was created by Patrick Guyton.

“I’ve been making cherry blossom art for 10 years, and during an art auction in early 2019, I was approached by a collector to submit some work for the Festival,” Guyton said. “It was a gigantic honor to be selected to create the piece, and I’m excited to see it there in person during next year’s festival.”

Last March, festival organizers canceled the 2020 parade and several other events due to the District's ongoing state of emergency amid the pandemic. 

The Festival also announced that National Capital Region newcomer, Amazon, will join longstanding Leadership Circle partner, Events DC, as a lead sponsor for the 2021 Festival.

For the latest updates on the National Cherry Blossom Festival, visit the festival's website.

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