Cherry Blossom Festival
Celebrate the blossoming of about 3,700 cherry trees in the nation's capital with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival beginning Sunday and running through April 13. Opening ceremonies with the traditional lantern lighting start at 2 p.m. Sunday on the Washington Monument Grounds. Other events throughout the two-week celebration include concerts, first-day postal cancellation, evening cruises, children's activities, a candlelight tour of Mount Vernon, and a black-tie dinner dance. The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade starts at 9: 30 a.m. April 12, proceeding along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets.
Grandstand parade tickets are $12 and are available through TicketMaster, 202-432-SEAT. For a complete schedule of festival activities, call the National Park Service at 202-619-7222 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or call Dial-A-Park, a 24-hour recorded message, at 202-619-PARK. Herald spring's arrival with a visit to Longwood Gardens and its annual Easter display. Hundreds of fragrant lilies trumpet the season inside four acres of warm, colorful gardens under glass. Daily programs -- including gardening demonstrations, children's stories and Sunday concerts -- also are featured.
Visitors can also explore Longwood's 1,050 acres and find many touches of spring outdoors, including crocuses, dwarf irises and daffodils. The hillside south of the Main Fountain Garden features a new display of early spring bulbs -- 270,000 chionodoxas and squills planted in sweeps of light and dark blues.
Longwood Gardens is in Kennett Square, Pa. The Conservatory is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the outdoor gardens are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both remain open until 6 p.m. beginning Tuesday. Admission is $10 for adults ($6 Tuesdays), $6 ages 16-20, $2 ages 6-15. For schedule of events and further information, call 800-737-5500.