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Experience D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Festival from home

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Stellan Hendrick, almost 2, gets a boost form his mom Evelyn Hendrick to touch cheery blossoms that cover the trees in the Kenwood neighborhood of Bethesda, Md., March 26. Kenwood may be an stand-in for Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival that has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Stellan Hendrick, almost 2, gets a boost form his mom Evelyn Hendrick to touch cheery blossoms that cover the trees in the Kenwood neighborhood of Bethesda, Md., March 26. Kenwood may be an stand-in for Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival that has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

With Washington, D.C.’s annual National Cherry Blossom Festival canceled this year amid escalating COVID-19 “shelter in place” orders around the country, the nonprofit organization is instead promoting its new virtual festival experience, accessible from the festival’s website ­(nationalcherryblossomfestival.org). Its BloomCam provides live, rotating views over the National Mall Tidal Basin so that everyone has the opportunity to witness the treasured trees in full flush.

The virtual festival also includes vibrant, colorful videos showcasing those performers who were originally scheduled as part of the 2020 celebrations, including the opening ceremony that’s co-presented with the Japan Foundation annually.

Its Blossom Kids page offers coloring-page artwork from 2020 festival artist Matt Long, and other download-and-printable puzzles, games, and arts and crafts, as well as details on how to enter the Cherry Blossom Festival Student Art Contest.

The annual festival auction, traditionally launched during the annual Pink Tie Party, is also being held online this year, running now through April 12, 2020, and regularly updated with new bidding opportunities.

Fresh programming, activities and educational presentations will also be added in the days leading up to April 12 (the original end date for the festival), including a nod to the Blossom Kite Festival, originally scheduled for March 28, and a special April 4 presentation of compilation footage from past years’ National Cherry Blossom Festival Parades, so viewers can relive their colorful spectacles and performances, and join in the spirit of springtime.

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