Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. to Benefit Japanese Efforts

Mar 22, 2011, 05:55 by David Hope

The Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C. normally commemorates the introduction of Spring to the area - but this year, the festival will hold a special meaning. With proceeds being donated to the relief efforts in Japan, this year's Cherry Blossom Festival promises to be quite a treat.

This year's festival begins on March 26, 2011, and will include a "Stand With Japan" walk.

The Cherry Blossom Festival occurs at different times each year. Over the years, the blossoming has been highly variable. In 1990 peak bloom was March 15, while in 1958 it was April 18.

Last Winter, a series of major snowstorms that began in December dumped a record amount of snow on Washington, shredding the capital's snow-removal budget and paralyzing the city for days on end. The cold, harsh conditions pushed the festival much later - into the second week of April.

The trees that are included in the Cherry Blossom Festival were donated 98 years ago by Japan.