National Cherry Blossom Festival: Opening Ceremony

There is no doubt that every year Washingtonians and tourists alike anxiously await the greatest springtime celebration: the blossoming of D.C.’s famous cherry trees. The blooming period lasts less than two weeks, with the peak blooms lasting only a few short days. As you can imagine, timing is everything when planning your visit into the city to view these magnificent trees. With snow sweeping the nation’s capital last week, the National Park Service has forecasted April 3-6 as the peak blooming time this spring.

Amazing stage set.

Warner Theatre

Regardless of the weather last Friday, D.C. was ready to begin the Cherry Blossom festivities and usher in the start of a new (hopefully warmer) season. TWG teamed up with The National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF) to help ring in the new season and produce the NCBF’s Opening Ceremony.

Mariko Furukawa, Junko Yagami, the Chihiro Yamanaka Trio

Held at the Warner Theatre, this year’s opening ceremony showcased the history of the blossoms with remarks from both, His Excellency Kenichiro Sasae, Ambassador of Japan to the U.S., and the Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor of Washington, D.C. Guests were also entertained with musical performances by breakout pop-star Andy Grammer, Nanae Iwata and Mariko Furukawa, Junko Yagami, the Chihiro Yamanaka Trio, Rina Haruki and the Urban Nation H.I.P.-H.O.P. Choir.

One “junior” member of Urban Nation, too cute!

We got to meet Andy Grammer!

With an amazing stage set, a packed house and a fabulous lineup of speakers and entertainment, TWG couldn’t ask for a better show. Whether we were tip-toeing in the corridors under the theater to reach stage left with our entertainers or calling a flawless show, we felt honored to be a part of one of D.C.’s most time-honored springtime celebrations.

Wall of “Good Luck Kisses” in one of Warner Theatre corridors

We would like to give a special thank you to: Kris Rohr, National Cherry Blossom Festival Board Chair; Diana Mayhew, President of the National Cherry Blossom Festival; Jessica Doyle, our amazing Emcee for the evening and reporter for WUSA9; and Hargrove and EventEQ. It was an honor and a pleasure to work with all of you.

TWG Team: Patton, Lea and Holly

“Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries. Today, more than 1.5 million people visit Washington, DC [ generating $170 million in revenue] each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees and to participate in diverse programming that heralds spring in the nation’s capital” – National Cherry Blossom Festival.

For more information regarding the National Cherry Blossom Festival , please visit their website or follow on all the events via Twitter.