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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cherry Blossom Parade and Sakura Matsura Japanese Street Festival

The blooms are beginning to turn to leaves but the Cherry Blossom Festival continues this weekend with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival, both on Saturday, April 9.

The parade takes place from 10am-noon along Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets. Seating is free along the parade route, but plan to arrive early as there are sure to be big crowds. This year's event will include grand floats, marching bands, performers and giant helium balloons.

Sakura Matsuri, the annual Japanese street festival, is making two changes this year. First, they are charging  admission: $5 per person ages 13 and up. Second, their theme is "Stand with Japan" this year and part of the proceeds will benefit Japanese recovery efforts. In addition, numerous vendors will be making donations and volunteers will be collecting donations for the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Fund. The Bezos Family Foundation will be making a $2 donation for every paper crane made at the children's corner.

The festival features more than 20 hours of live performances, art and cultural demonstrations, food and a wonderful Children's Corner and stretches more than six city blocks, from 9th to 14th Streets, NW on Pennsylvania Avenue. (That's approximately from the FBI building to just before the White House.)

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